Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Abrams 4th Birthday

This year we celebrated Abram's fourth birthday.  We make a big deal out of birthdays in our home, as a matter of fact, it lasts a whole week. :) We decorate the week before and we try to do something special each day which might include a gift, ice cream after dinner or going some where fun.  

This year we had Abram's party at a Lego Store. Chris and Abe love this place so it was an easy decision when we heard they do parties. Not only do they host the party, but they do the decorations,  party favors and entertainment. Perfect! All we had to do was bring whatever food we wanted to serve.  Abram's friends from school came and a few from church. We had a great morning of playing with legos, playing games and celebrating Abram. 

He loved seeing his name out of Legos and I love this picture!

Lego cupcakes and I had to make Lego soap. :) It might have been my favorite thing at the party. 

Food table... Abram's favorite snacks: Pirate's booty and jello!

Building with Legos before his friends arrived

Doing his best to hold the lego under his chin

Playing Lego bingo

The boy loves cupcakes, candles and being sung to!

Love this Lego cake they made for him!

Finally his official birthday had arrived! He was thrilled. We had been counting down the days with a paper chain and he couldn't hardly wait! When he woke up his room was filled with balloons. He is still asking where the balloons came from. So cute!

We have a birthday binder where we can collect his party invitations and birthday cards. Every year we "interview" Abram and ask him a series of questions, Chris and I each write our top five favorite things about Abram from that year and he fills out a birthday menu.  This is what Abram chose to eat on his day:

Breakfast: Green eggs, ham, waffles and smoothie
Lunch: Old Spaghetti Factory and sit in the train
Dinner: Captain America soup
Snacks: Fruit Chews
Drinks: Yellow Juice (what Abram calls orange juice)
Dessert: Cupcakes

Birthday breakfast

Birthday Lunch, inside the train!

We also went swimming at the Hale Koa hotel-- His absolute favorite place to go.  I think he had a great day. We had such a fun day celebrating him!

Then on Monday, his class celebrated at school. I brought chocolate chip M&M cookies (I remember what a mess cupcakes were when I taught, so I thought I would make it easy. Plus little kids only lick the icing off anyway). Abe loved his crown and his little friends loved singing to him!

Every Friday his school has chapel and when they sing to the kids who had a birthday that week.  He loved that, but my favorite part was the Bible story.  This week his school was studying King David and how God chose David because "he was a man after God's own heart." Because it was Abe's birthday, they chose Abe to be King David.  I was in tears while watching him act this story out.  From the beginning, that has been our exact prayer for Abram. While I was watching him,  it was as if God was saying to me, "trust Me, I've got him." 

What a great ending to a super fun birthday week!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Our Summer

This was our first summer in Hawaii and our first summer with all three boys.  Craziness, but fun! We are so glad that Abram loves the water... we spend a lot of time at the beach and in pools. He is so happy when he is swimming. 

Most of you know I am a list maker and keeper... it is a lot of work to pack up our family of five but oh my, the rewards are great. We are all happier when we are out and about and not stuck inside our house.  I knew if I made a list of what I wanted to do this summer, I would try my hardest to get everything checked off. I hate to see unchecked boxes. This helped our summer to have a purpose and it reminded me what I wanted to do. We had a fun time checking things off! Even Chris got excited when a box was completed. 

We posted our list right in our kitchen so we could see it all the time! 

Not on our list, but the water table provides tons of entertainment for Abram when we need to be at home.  Its a fun activity when the babies are napping. This is one of my favorite pictures from the summer!

There are so many places to hike in Hawaii and easy hikes for Abe, but not many are stroller friendly. Our first hike was up Makapuu. It was fun and a lot of hard work pushing that stroller up hill and even harder going down.  Abe amazed us by doing the whole thing on his own.  We need to wait until the boys are big enough to fit in a carrier to do more hikes as a family.

 Painting with pudding... an easy, fun and yummy activity.

 We did lots with ice this summer... it's easy and it cools you off. We froze animals inside and Abe had to "dig" them out, I made colored ice and Abe would watch it melt and all the colors would mix and we also painted ice cubes with water colors. So fun! There is always some sort of ice activity freezing in our freezer!

This summer the Bishop Museum had a special dinosaur exhibit. It is super cool. The dinosaurs are huge and so life like!

 And one special event that wasn't on our list... we got our first pet.  It is a parakeet and Abram named  him Chilly.  One of Abram's favorite shows is "Doc McStuffins" and his favorite character is Chilly, the snowman. Chilly is white and blue (icy looking) and has black and white stripes (Chilly wears a black and white scarf) so we thought this name was appropriate. Abe loves it when he flies around the house and sings when the water is running. He is a great first pet!

We had a great summer and now I need to make our fall checklist... it will be more of a challenge since we don't have fall weather. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Good-bye Monterey, Hello Kailua!

I figured I need to get this blog posted before we have to move again. 

It is always sad to leave a place you have called home for 2 1/2 years, but Monterey was extra sad for us. This was where we brought all three kids home.  How many military families can say that? Our life changed so much while we were there and it will always hold a special place in our heart. We made such wonderful friends that truly loved and cared for us. 

We learned so much about God this summer... He truly is wonderful. He took care of the smallest details, He provides, and He has perfect timing.  But the best part is that He loves us through it all! 

Before we left we had to take these pictures...We passed this sign all the time. Abram loved to point out the "teeny tiny boat" and he would say it in such a cute voice, we had to take a picture with it. He loved that I let him sit up on the sign and touch the "teeny tiny boat." I love these pictures.

I had to take pictures of our three boys in front of their first home. It is the home we became a family in. So special. We loved this house! It was perfect for our family.

So here goes the craziness. Get ready...
March 24- pack out and keep all necessary items for a family of five to survive for 2 months.  I can't tell you how many lists I had going on.  Thankfully our suitcases could each weigh 70 pounds (not the usual 50) and each person (including Jack and Luke) could have 4 suitcases. Praise the Lord for military orders! 
April 7- Babies arrive
April 19- Babies come home from the hospital
April 28- Chris leaves for Hawaii
May 1- Gram, Abram, Jack, Luke and I fly to Hawaii.
May 29- Move into our house in Kailua.  From May 1-May 29 we were in a furnished condo.  

The Lord works out all the details. He took care of everything! We were in an empty home from March 24- April 29 and our church family provided us with EVERYTHING we needed. Amazing! It was so good to stay in our home and keep as much routine as we could for Abram.  Then they provided us with meals everyday from April 13-29. Again, AMAZING.  I am a firm believer in bringing meals. Never underestimate their importance. Even if its take out... I didn't have to make a grocery list, shop for groceries, cook or clean up for the entire month.  Such an amazing blessing. From their blessing, I have realized this is how I can help other families. Any time someone is going through a change or crisis, a meal is always needed! I will try to always do this for others.

AND... on March 24 we packed up our washer and dryer. Without being asked my wonderful friend, Heather, did our laundry for us until we left on May 1.  Do you know how much laundry newborn twins make?? Not to mention 3 adults and a preschooler! Sometimes she was doing a load every day for us. She would come pick it up, fold it, and most the times deliver it back to us.  HUGE! I will never forget that wonderful way she met our need. Just like the meals, she taught me to find someone's need and meet it.  She didn't wait for me to ask. She knew we would need clean clothes and she met that need. 

So on May 1 we headed out.  We had 10 checked bags, three car seats, a stroller and a pack and play. Not to mention carry ons, two adults, a preschooler, and two newborns. Once again my friend Heather and her husband, Bill, came to our rescue. Heather drove us in her suburban and Bill took our luggage in another friend's suburban. The logistics for this trip made me exhausted! But God provided for all of our needs! Thankfully it was only a five hour flight and no layovers. When we arrived in Hawaii our friend Matt loaded up all our luggage in his car (he said it was like playing Tetris) and Chris drove us in the van that came with our rented condo (see, God handled the details). 

We made it! Everyone was accounted for and ALL our luggage arrived! My mom and I felt extremely proud of ourselves!

Finally, after living out of suitcases for two months we moved into our house in Kailua. When we lived in Hawaii five years ago I taught in Kailua. I always told Chris if we ever move back thats where I want to live. It is such a fun and cute beach town.  Hawaii has tons of traffic, so if we don't want to leave, we don't have to. It has everything we need! We were thrilled to find our home here! It is perfect for us. God definitely provides. It has the most unique layout that is perfect for our family.  Tons of windows that we leave open all day (and night), a great backyard for Abram, and the homeowners are kind, Christian people.  Here's a few pictures...

Our house. The front windows are our dining room and the french doors on the left go into our guest room/office. I love the fanning tree behind our house. 

As soon as you open our door you see everything. We love the open floor plan.  This is our kitchen and dining room.

The first thing you see when you open our door. The room to the left is Abe's room and the door to the left of the bookshelf goes into the master bath, our room and twin's room. There are no hallways in our home. So interesting...

To the left when you open our door you see our living room.

Another view of our living room

Abram in his room... He loves his big boy bed.  He calls it his up and down bed.  I love it because we can hang his art work on his bed and big toys can be stored under it.

Another view of his room... he chose to decorate it with maps. He loves maps!

Luke and Jack's tiny room. It is perfect for them. It is just off of our master bedroom. 

So we are finally settled and getting used to our new routine and being a family of 5! If you ever want to come love on some babies or play with Abram, we love visitors! No really, we love company and you are welcome any time! And you don't have to hold babies all the time! :) Thank you for your prayers during this big transition! We definitely felt them. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Jack and Luke's Perfect Arrival!

Once again, this post is several (three to be exact) months late but my goal was to get this posted before Jack and Luke were walking so I'm doing good.  I like to meet my goals. :)

Get ready for serious picture overload. 

If I had a theme for this blog it would be God's perfect timing... it is everywhere surrounding the birth of the twins. God never ceases to amaze me.  Chris and I love to step back and look at this story and see God in all of it!

Here's the most wonderful series of events that happened before Jack and Luke came:
March 18: My sister, Julie, arrived to help with Abram. She knew I was exhausted and that things were going to get crazier.  We had pack out coming up soon and her job was to distract Abram. Not only did she keep Abe busy, she cooked and cleaned and we even got to do girly things together! 

March 24-26: Pack out. If you know me, I get super stressed out before our house gets packed and this time wasn't any different. We were staying in our empty house for a month before we left for Hawaii and also we knew the twins were coming. Talk about organization and list overload! But could you imagine packing out with the twins there? Crazy! So happy we were able to do this before their birth.

March 27: Chris' graduation from the Naval Post Graduate School.  He finished his thesis and completed his schooling! So glad I was there to see his graduation and celebrate with him.  We were all so proud of him!

Graduation Day!

March 31: I had to check into the hospital to be on constant bed rest until the twins arrived.  Luke had only grown 2 ounces in two weeks so they were very worried about him. I was on monitors for 22 hours of the day for a week.  My doctor was amazing and the best part was my nurse, Elizabeth, that admitted me was working almost every day while I was on bed rest. She was wonderful! She answered ALL of our questions, made her famous juice cocktails for me and Chris all the time and got Julie a Diet Coke every time she came up there. We all loved her and we quickly became good friends! She made our time in the hospital so much easier and even at times, enjoyable! 

My sweet nurse and friend, Elizabeth

Abe visiting during bed rest

Reading books that my sweet friend, Jessica, sent to Abram.

My biggest fear before going on bed rest was not being able to take care of Abram.  But here's how God provided...
1. Chris was completely done. He had no work or school commitments. He could be with Abram, me or handle moving details.  
2. Julie was there. She quickly learned her way around Monterey and drove Abram everywhere.  She also made dinner every night and all three of them came up every evening to eat with me. 
3.  Abram was in an amazing preschool with such a loving teacher. Mrs Liz let us change his schedule so he could be up there more and she took such good care of him.

God provides!

Abe at his Easter party at school... I loved getting these pictures sent to me while I was on bed rest. 

Julie and Chris made sure Abram had a fun Easter. 

Abe getting into his Easter basket.

One night, Julie stayed with me and Chris took Abram to Oakland to see his first Mariners game. 

Chris and Abe at the Easter carnival. 
Abram was definitely taken care of! 

April 7: Exactly one week after I was admitted, my doctor decided it would be best if the boys were delivered. He scheduled my c-section for early Tuesday morning.  Elizabeth didn't work on Sunday or Monday so I thought I wouldn't see her, but to my surprise she came in early Tuesday morning and was with me through the whole thing! She prepared me for surgery, stayed by me during the c-section and was my post surgery nurse, too. I love how God knows I like to feel safe and secure and He knew Elizabeth would do that for me! Love the details that He takes care of!

Just before they took me back to the operating room

The anesthesiologist took pictures for us so Chris could watch!

I hate to say it, but I don't know who this is... if I had to guess I would say Luke because he was delivered first. 

Seeing Luke and Jack for the first time!

I love this sweet picture! 

Julie and my friend Heather were there the whole time! They were first to see the boys!

Elizabeth wheeling me back to my room. 

Skin-to-skin for the first time.

Julie and Abram made a birthday cake for Luke and Jack. 

Abram's big brother gift from Luke and Jack. They gave him a superman cape because he is a super brother! 

Abram wearing his cape into the NICU to see Luke and Jack for the first time. 

Jack and Luke were born five weeks early.  Jack weighed 5 pounds and 2 ounces, Luke weighed 4 pounds and 1 ounce. Luke was born at 8:03 and Jack at 8:04. They were each a pound bigger than expected. God again took care of our boys... even though they were in the NICU for two weeks they never needed oxygen or feeding tubes. They just needed a constant weight gain.  God also took care of me and Chris. Our NICU nurse, Karen, worked for two weeks straight (with one day off). She had a trip in May so she was making up the time.  Again, we got to know her and she took time to answer all of our new parent questions.  She was amazing!

Our first family picture as a family of five! 
And again... Julie never planned to be here for Jack and Luke's arrival but she was! She was one excited aunt! Also, my mom arrived two days before Julie left so Julie could show her Abram's routine and the way around Monterey. I loved having both of them with me!

Such a great aunt picture! 

Our sweet boys!
Finally, after two weeks the boys were discharged! We were so happy to be going home and just two weeks before we moved! :)

The creator of Dennis the Menace was from Carmel. The entire children's wing was dedicated to him. 

My mom was able to spend seven weeks with us. She loved the time loving on her grand babies and it sure was great to have an extra set of hands!! She never needs any instructions. She always knows what her grandsons need.  Abe has such a fun time with "his" Gram. We are truly blessed. Gram was able to fly with us to Hawaii and stay for seven weeks. 

Abram holding Luke for the first time. He was so excited! 

Such a great big brother... reading to them! :)

Also, before we moved Chris' mom was able to come for a visit to meet her newest grand sons. Such a special time to have family around us!

And next, our big move... 
Hope you enjoyed all the pictures!