4 years

Lots of big milestones in this family recently...

Caleb is now 4 years old!!!!!

I included a lot of pics from the past few months.  I haven't uploaded birthday party pics yet, but for now... Enjoy :)

Dear Caleb,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!  I can't believe you are 4!  And my, how I love you!  You are such a bright spot in my everyday.  The way you see the world is such an adventure.  Every car is a RACE CAR.  Your snow boots are "INSTRUCTION BOOTS" (construction boots).  When you run, you are FASTER THAN BULLETS!  Any number of clothing items can transform you into SUPERMAN or CAPTAIN AMERICA or BATMAN!!!  Your recent loves are legos, superheroes, sports of all kinds, race cars, your dad, hiking, and baby Ethan.

You wear 4-5T clothes (with a few 3T mixed in) and your "daddy underwear" (boxer briefs).  You LOVE "sports clothes".  During any given day, you change 3-4 times as you dress up like different things.  You sleep about 13 hours every night (8pm-9am).  You gave up your afternoon nap around 3.5, but observe a quiet time for about 1.5 hours everyday.  You are getting so big and can do most daily routines semi-independently (need lots of reminders).  You are a great big brother and are really learning how to play with Asher.  It's so precious to see the relationship that is starting to form as you both grow.  You are an okay eater.  Asher nearly eats as much as you, but I see your appetite growing.  You are a routined eater- the same thing everyday would be just fine with you :).  You currently weight about 34 pounds and are 39 inches tall (I think?).

You attend preschool 2 afternoons a week and enjoy the social time.  You also attend a music class and Awana. I hope to get you into swimming lessons for a couple of sessions this winter.  Your best friends are Elijah and Owen (church friends), Isaac (a neighbor), and Jackson (family friend).  It is so fun to see you start to make real friendships and enjoy playing WITH other kids (not just beside them).  You have SO MUCH FUN with them.

You have a servant's heart and are always ready to help out.  Sometimes you have trouble when you don't get to choose clothing, activities, food, etc.  Recently, you have been able to check your emotions and come up with something to be thankful for, even when you are disappointed.  (Especially since I give you choices 90% of the time- hehe).  Overall, you are a very easy going child.  Eager to please, eager to spend time with your mom and dad, eager to pretend, eager to learn.

I pray and pray for you, child.  You desire to be strong, to be a hero.  We talk a lot about using our strength to help others.  I pray that you will have faith like your namesake.  That you would trust God to overcome the giants in your life and in the world.  That God would bring you into the promised land.  That you would have a different spirit- one that follows God wholeheartedly- one that seeks justice, loves mercy, and walks humbly- one that has a hope in the grace that brings eternal life.
Numbers 13:30, 14:7-9, 24
"Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it."

"The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good.  If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.  Only do not rebel against the Lord.  And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because will devour them.  Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us.  Do not be afraid of them."

"But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it."

I love you dearly, firstborn.  You are incredibly special and unique.  Perfect in our family.

Here is your "I am 4" question and answer:

My favorite animal- don't have one
My favorite food- birthday cake
My favorite toy- race track
My favorite game- hide and seek
My favorite color- blue
My favorite fruit- all of them
My favorite TV show- Mighty Machines
My favorite lunch- peanut butter and jelly, strawberries, and fries
My favorite outfit- captain america shirt and sports shorts
My favorite snack- applesauce
My favorite book- super hero books
My favorite song- Seeds of Faith CD
My favorite friend- Elijah Mondt
My favorite cereal- granola
My favorite thing to do outside- play sports
My favorite drink- juice
My favorite holiday- summer
My favorite thing to do before bed- eat snacks
My favorite breakfast- cereal
My birthday dinner was- hot dogs, chips, veggies, capri suns
When I grow up I want to be- a doctor like daddy


2 months

Dear Ethan,
You are now over 2 months old!  I was telling your daddy the other night that it feels we've always had you. You are the perfect addition to our family. You are adored by all. You are the most chill, smiley baby that ever was. Here's to hoping that continues :). 

You are a gentle giant!  At your 2 month check up you were 25.5 inches long (over 99th percentile) and 14 pounds (75th percentile). You wear anything between 3-6 and 6-9 month clothes  you are in size 2 diapers. (I'm still trying to pawn off all those newborn diapers you never wore-haha). You eat about 5 oz at a time (when I pump). You are eating about 8 times a day. You are on a pretty good sleep, eat, play, sleep routine during the day and now can fall asleep in your crib independently. You suck your hand and are working on getting your thumb in there. Right at 2 months, you were getting up 1-2 times/night to eat. 

You are a strong baby. You can hold your head up fairly well when on your tummy. You can turn your head side to side. You are staring to pull in your tummy muscles when we are holding you in a reclined position. You love swatting at toys and grab them every once in a while. You aren't laughing quite yet, but give the biggest, goofiest grins. You are cooing and gabbing a lot too. 

Oh Ethan. Once again I am surprised how the love I have for my boys can be equally multipled. I love you intensely. I love you in a special way too. You may be my last baby. I am treasuring your babyhood in a different way than I did with your brothers. I am realizing as they grow how quickly time passes and I'm trying to hold onto every moment with you. You are such a unique, perfect gift. God knew what he was doing when he gave you to us!  


Something new...

Over the past few years, God has started breathing a new wind in my soul. I feel unsettled with the way things are and have started to long for new wine skin. I think HE is ready to pour out new wine. I see it happening all over the world. 

Perhaps he is transforming me into something new. 

I have a lot to repent of. 

I've made Christianity about me and how Jesus can help me feel good about my life. How he can take away my fears and discontentment and bad habits and make me a better person. 

Now, I never would have said that's what I believed, what I had reduced the gospel to, but take a look at my life and personal pursuit of goodness is all you would see. 

See, now I'm starting to think there's more to this gospel than personal sanctification. Personal sanctification, yes!  But, good news for the world. News that transcends all issues of life, informs all we are and what we do. Informs who we love and who we pursue. News that BLESSES others. News that befriends the fatherless, defends the widow, clothes the naked, mows the lawn of the elderly neighbor and news that serves like our King did. 

The church is not a gathering place on Sundays where I meet with my friends and learn about God. The church is a group of people on mission together to disciple one another and bring the good news to the whole world. 

I'm not sure where I got the notion that I didn't really need to do this on a regular basis. Where I got the notion that doing a service project was the same as giving my life to God wholly and obeying his commands (whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me). Where I got the notion that my "church" either could be my life or that it could be separate from my life. 

I'm scared. I don't exactly know what this will look like. I'm scared that I will get in the way and mess up relationships.  I'm afraid I won't know how to share this good news that has changed my life, while still being friends with neighbors and enjoying life together. Jesus loved SO well. I want to learn to love my neighbor. And actually do it. As in, TODAY and tomorrow and the next day. I want to serve the needs of my community and world, NOW. 

All I know is that this needs to be fueled by prayer. 

Holy Trinity, help me love and serve as you did. Go before me and speak truth to me. Help me to balance discipleship with mission. Bring your kingdom to this earth. Bring it soon. In Your name I pray, AMEN.


Asher is 18 months!!!!

Happy 18 months, Asher!!!

You are such a big boy!  In some ways you seem bigger than 18 months.  You've had to grow up a little faster with the arrival of a little brother, but you've taken it all in stride.  You adore him and I hope that you will be so close!  You also are beginning to really play with Caleb and enjoy him too!

You are our verbal boy.  You can say over 75 words and your vocabulary grows daily.  You are starting to combine words.  You LOVE books and animals.  Your favorite books are Eyewitness books where there are lots of little pictures of different animals.  You like to point to each one and have us tell you what it is.  You enjoy watching a Nursery Rhyme show on Netflix (it has pictures of kids and animals with music).  You will walk around saying, "show, show, show."  Your favorite animal is either a dog or a clown fish.  When you want a sea animal book, you walk around saying, "Oh where, Nemo?  Oh where, Nemo?"  You light up when your dad or big brother come in the room and are equally disappointed if they leave.  You are a hungry boy, eating almost as much as your big brother.  You are enthralled with Ethan, and will look for him in his room if you don't see him.  You love to point out each body part on "baby, baby, baby, baby."  You love fruit of any kind, raisins, your "vi" (vitamin), chicken, beans, goldfish, and lots more.  Playing with balls, puzzles, and books are your favorite.

You sleep through the night well and wake up around 7 am.  You go to sleep around 8pm and take a 1.5-2 hour nap around noon.  You sleep with your doggy and "buddies" (which are pre-fold cloth diapers that we used as burp clothes).  You wear size 3 diapers and 18ish month clothes (give or take).  You wear size 5-6 shoes.

You are a sensitive soul and easily cry if we scold you.  You want to be around your family, but are also independent enough to play on your own.  You play well alongside other kiddos your age and love to try to keep up with the big kids.  You love to play outside and help in the kitchen.  You are friendly and like to say "hi, hi, hi" to others (from the safety of mom's arms or your stroller.  You throw many more fits than your big brother, but are probably more typical of your age.  You are getting better though, as you learn to talk.

My dear Asher.  I love you so much.  I love you for who you are.  It's my hope that you know and understand that.  That you never feel overlooked because you are the middle child.  You are a delight and joy of a child.  The sense of wonder you hold for life is so refreshing.  Your little voice and face light up my day.  I pray daily that I will steward your life and raise you well.  That you will come to know Jesus and that you will trust him with your life.  That you will join in his work to bring mercy, grace, justice, and hope to the world.  Happy 1.5, Asher.  We are so lucky to have you.



Workin' with Dad

Caleb has really started to LOVE helping Dad out!  Here are a couple pics of recent projects:

Painting shutters
Planting trees

 And a couple of the littles...

Asher WANTS to help (and can actually do some things- one of his favorite songs/games is "clean up clean up, everybody everywhere...)
 Ethan is pretty content where ever!  I'm sure he's going to want to be right in the middle of the action soon!


A new song

By Matt Redman

You've put a new song in my mouth
It is a hymn of praise to You
Justice and mercy are its theme
And I will live it back to You

The kind of fast You've chosen, Lord
It must reach out
To broken lives and to the poor
So change me, Lord
I know You are the orphan's hope
I know You are the widow's song
O Lord, You're showing me what's on Your heart

You've put a new song in my mouth
It is a hymn of praise to You
It's a hymn of praise
Justice and mercy are its theme
Justice and mercy
And I will live it back to You

Lord, I won't bring an empty song
It's meaningless 
Without compassion in my life and holiness
You're Father where no father lives
And to the lonely You're a Friend
O Lord, You're showing me what's on Your heart
What is on Your heart

You've put a new song in my mouth
It is a hymn of praise to You
It is to You
Justice and mercy are its theme
Justice and mercy
And I will live it back to You
Live it back to You

I know You are the orphan's hope, I know You are the widow's song
You're Father where no father lives, and to the lonely You're a Friend
O Lord, You're showing me what's on Your heart

You're a Friend
Let justice roll like a river
Let mercy flow to the needy

You're showing me what's on Your heart

You've put a new song in my mouth
It is a hymn of praise to You
Justice and mercy are its theme
And I will live it back to You

Let justice roll like a river
Let mercy flow to the needy
This is our song
This is the choir
Where You go, we will go, we will go 
Because we love you, Lord


1 month

Dear Ethan,
It's hard to believe that one month ago we were cuddling you in our hospital room in awe that you were finally with us. In many ways this month has flown by. Having you as part of our family feels so natural. The only real difficulties of adding you are the logistics of going out and about and the lack of sleep. But, we are making progress in both of those areas ;). 

This month you have been very easygoing. You eat about every 3ish hours during the day and sometimes pull a longer stretch (4ish hours) at night. Though last night you only awoke once with a 5.5 hour and 4 hour stretch!  You eat well, but choke a little during nursing, which makes you pretty gassy. You outgrew newborn diapers and clothes this month and are solidly in size 1 diapers and 0-3 month clothes. You can hold up your head when you're on your tummy for several seconds. Mom and dad swear that you've smiled at us purposefully too. You are looking at things a lot lately and don't seem to mind your rambunctious brothers too much. They certainly love you and sometimes are over zealous in their expression. 

We love you so and are praying that you are strong and bold (as your name means) in the things that truly matter in life. You already seem to have a calmness about you that I hope continues in your spirit. I love you dearly, little Ethan. You are precious to our family. 


Almost a year later...

Wow, it's been a while.  I've missed you old blog- just felt too consumed with life over the past year to blog about it.  I think I'm ready to begin again.  Plus, it's slightly more productive than watching 1000+ episodes of 19 Kids and Counting on Netflix or surfing my Facebook feed for the 15th time while waiting for the next nursing session with E.  (maybe not as productive as sweeping the kitchen or making homemade granola)

Since I last posted on the blog basically nothing is the same!

+Asher is no longer 7 months old- in fact he is 17 months old!
+We live in Greeley, CO now!
+Alan is done with school and working as a CRNA!
+I am not currently working as a PT, just taking care of my boys through this transition.
+Caleb is almost 4.
+Perhaps the biggest change... since I last posted I became pregnant and birthed baby boy #3- Ethan Steven Hunt!

A few pics of the past year...