Thursday, April 30, 2009


Catch that?

If not, that would be Grandpa and Grandma-- I suppose Hope finds it works best by saying their names all at once as if they should always be together in her world.

Since they live more than a dozen hours from us, a visit like this is pretty special! It was so sweet to hear them praying over us and our home throughout their time here (they are such the prayer warriors-- an inspiration). Though I like for our guests to rest and enjoy when they come to stay, they also repeatedly reminded me, "This is not a spectator sport, Katrina." :)

Basically that means this; some people have home warranties or the like.

We, well we, have Grandpa Martins.

He helped Joe fix everything from chairs gone rickety, our favorite lamp broken in our move, our garage door, and (keeping our fingers crossed) our dryer that almost blew up (literally!) just before he arrived (Do you hear the angelic voices singing? Hmm... that must be just me, though surely you can understand why!)

And don't even get me started on how the dishes were washed, floors swept, laundry folded, etc. as if by some magic snap of the fingers...

Best of all, they had time with their grandkids and we all had time to soak in their seventy plus years of stories and wisdom. Here's to hoping the next visit isn't too far away!

On some other semi-unrelated notes... after taking them to the airport the girls and I hit up some indoor, beat the rainy weather, fun in the big city. When I saw this picture...
I had to take a minute. Doesn't she look so... so... so almost grown up? Man.

And don't forget... two days from now, this Saturday at midnight, our adoption raffle will officially conclude. We are blown away by the generosity of your hearts in helping Pavel be an orphan no more. This is the verse that keeps ringing true to us:

James 1:27 (New International Version)
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress...

You still have time, if you so feel lead, to get in your five buck chance at experiencing the taste of victory! We'll reveal the grand total and winners on Sunday.

Maddie just asks that you not expect her to include one of her teething biscuits with the 7 lb. ham. Even this sweet girl has her limits. :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

a heart-y portion...

That face.

We'll leave this month's hammy laughs at that face lit up by running fast-- vewy, vewy fast.

Instead, I have a conversation I don't soon want us to forget. Like forever and ever want us to remember.

h: Mommy, talk to me!

me (running around preparing for company): What do you want to talk about?

h: I want to talk about Jesus.

me (stopping mid cleaning): Okay... what do you want to know about Jesus?

h: About His boo boos.

me: Well, Jesus loves you and everyone else sooo much that when God asked Him if He would show His love by getting boo boos, Jesus said yes.

h: On the cross, Mommy.

me (choking back tears): Yes, honey, on the cross.

h: To take away sins.

me (really choking back tears): Yes, Hope, you're right.

h: To live in my heart?

me: Yes.

h: And your heart? And Daddy's heart? And Maddie's heart?

me: Of course. All our hearts and the hearts of anyone who asks. All you have to do is ask and that's exactly where He wants to live.

With that off she ran away smiling from ear to ear.

That face.

But, oh mercy, that heart.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Moments with Maddie- Month Nine

It's funny. It took nine months for her to join our family, but once she arrived the same amount of time has gone by so much faster.

Vewy, vewy fast as Hope would say.

So we don't forget, and in case you want to hear all the little details too, here's nine of the ways we've seen Maddie grow this month. (Or you can just look at the pictures instead; we'll never know!) :)

She's clapping accompanied by "aa! aa!" (yay! yay!), especially when there's music or she seems excited.

She buries her head in our shoulders or chests with shyness when she becomes the center of attention from others. She does the same thing when she's been crying and we pick her up.

She wants to wake up to snuggles and milk before she's even ready to consider getting a diaper change.
Some of her biggest grins and laughs are reserved for her partner in crime (in fun?), the Hopester.

She's wrapping her mouth around "mama," sometimes "dada," and when we're lucky "tuh" (tucker) or "buh/huh" (bye/hi). Somehow this is much wilder for us than when Hope began to talk. We laugh because it seemed strange when Hope couldn't talk, to know our firstborn is to totally understand this. :)

She's a serious grazer, as in needs to go to Grazer's Anonymous, because her eagle eyes can spot even the teeniest of specks from the floor (from the floor to her mouth, of course). We don't call her our sweet, little Hoover for nothing.

Speaking of nicknames, PopPop gave her the one of Miss Wiggles. This will surely stick because it is SURELY true! Luckily, though, she still has a good bit of cuddle bug left in her.
The crib rails have gone up for obvious reasons. I guess that means it's time to lose our coffee table... again.

And we could just die... the blowing and planting of kisses has begun. For us this ranks right up there with that first smile!

Only three more months of tracking her growth this way. Hope you're enjoying it!

Vewy, vewy much even.

& Co.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Catching Up, W-A-Y Up :)

Suitcases unpacked, laundry done, bills paid, commitments fulfilled...


Yet here I am to blog anyway. Because one thing I did do was unload pictures off our chocked full memory card!

As you saw, somehow I restrained myself from eating the cheeks right off Maddie's face in the tax day pictures (thanks, by the way, to Mr. Zapanta for the fun onesie!) But I can't promise you might not need to practice the same restraint when you see these girls on Easter. Consider you and your computer screen warned. :) I may also need to issue a warning for picture overload, but hopefully you won't mind my rambling mood.

Before we get into Sunday bests, though, I think I'll show you around the place where I grew up. The sights and sounds, emotions and memories are so much a part of me. Now comes the fun in watching them become a part of our girls.

Fiddles, guitars, banjos and the dancing too... you should have seen Maddie's head rock and Hope's feet fly! Really cool was watching Hope intently soak it up; during a "take five" she actually sought out the mandolin player and gently rubbed his arm. "More moo-sic, pease?!"

Homegrown goodness... this Amish store is just a stone's throw through the woods behind my parent's house. Every time we visit I load up on good stuff like spelt flour, granola, oats, and spices. Mom always makes sure I have time to linger, just like she always makes sure we don't go hungry during our visit. And go hungry, we do not; I've got the belt loosened to prove it!

Inspiration... Among the rust, the chips, and the character lie little treasures in wait at our favorite spots. Back home Dad's workshop, with its sawdust from projects gone by, casts the same kind of spell on me. Before I know it, my mind is overflowing with ideas!

Best of all are the familiar faces of family that we miss...

(Don't kill me Dad, but this face kept Maddie in stiches... she is quite a PopPop's girl!)
And speaking of such faces... Maddie got to experience some Proverbs 27:9 "sweet friendships" as we ventured off to her first Girls' Weekend! This is the third year in a row I've RSVP'd with an extra little girlfriend in tow, and the first time I've ever been away from Hope for more than a night. (Come to think of it, last year I actually had two girlfriends in tow-- huh?) Thanks to her grandparents all went well on the Hope-front as Maddie and I enjoyed our time with "the people." I couldn't tell Hope just who because these lifelong, college girlfriends of mine also happen to be some of her favorites!

Where does the time go?


That's right, no time to dwell on that, because I was going to show you Easter pictures too! Have you fallen off the long winded train yet? Okay, so I'll cut to the chase then! :)
We dyed our eggs, savored our baskets, dressed in our finest, sang at church, ate until we popped, hunted our hearts out (Hope even won the grand prize golden egg!), declared the day to be about "Jesus getting all better," and went back for dessert... with five of my Mom's siblings (and some of their kids and some of their kids' kids!) A good, old fashioned Easter-- we missed you Jeremy, Tonia, and your families!

Now that makes up for some long lost weeks of blogging for sure!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How Could Uncle Sam Resist?

We're back and just in time for tax day! :)

When we can see past stacks of mail and suitcases, we'll be back with more. Until then, enjoy some freebies to celebrate surviving another April 15th. (And if you love i-c-e-c-r-e-a-m as much as we do-- thus, why we spell it before letting Hope know we're considering getting any-- Maggie Moo's is offering a free single scoop all day long!)

"See" you soon!