You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2008.

In the busyness of parenting two little ones, I’ve left a lot of memories off our blog. I was looking over pictures and wanted to share a little more about this past month.

We’ve had many messy meals as Sammy feeds himself and likes to play with his food
Which often leaves Mommy and Daddy feeling like this
Eli has learned to smile and shows it off whenever you talk to him
We’ve attempted a number of self-portraits, which usually turn out like this
Eli gave us “wild eyes” a lot at the beginning of the month
Sammy’s had his share of grumpy days while those painful molars have come in
Lots of naps in the swing…and lots of batteries
Sammy has two great loves–running around almost naked and Daddy’s arrival after workDSC04586.JPG
Addicted to the remote controls just like his big brother
Sammy’s very into play food and tea. We’ve enjoyed many pretend meals and cups of tea

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed those highlights and have gotten a picture of the fun times we have around here!

When Gretchen and I first met I was immediately attracted to her. She was part of a missions team that had come up from her college to help out with the ministry where I was working. She was beautiful and funny and I spent all week trying to make an impression on her.

Looking back now I think it was probably her confidence that was so attractive to me. She didn’t seem to be cliquey or overly concerned with what other people thought of her, but she was friendly with everyone and comfortable in her own skin. She was studying cross-cultural sociology and she was planning a trip to China. I had been to China myself, and the fact that she was planning to go was exciting. She seemed sure of herself, and I found that very attractive.


Later, when she moved to Roanoke I started making attempts at romance that backfired almost immediately. I knew that she was a confident and independent person, and I had heard that she had never dated anyone before, which was pretty intimidating. I thought that the best way approach her was to slowly and discreetly start cultivating a romantic relationship without ever really communicating my intentions clearly. Of course that was the absolute worst possible plan and, as I said, it backfired almost immediately. She was confused and put off by my vague advances and actually sat me down and broke up with me even though we weren’t actually dating.

So, deterred but not defeated, I returned to the drawing board. This time I decided to just come right out with it and ask her to go out to dinner with me. She said yes and soon we were off with a bona fide relationship.

It wasn’t too long before I decided that I wanted to marry her. She was warm and thoughtful and it made me happy just to be around her. Every hour I could spend with her I did, and when I wasn’t with her I wanted to be. We lived next door to each other so I would go over and eat breakfast with her first thing in the morning when I could and then stay up late at night talking and watching movies. I was working in a bakery in the mornings and mowing lawns in the afternoons and I pretty much spent every moment we were apart planning our next date. I still remember the nervous giddiness I felt standing on her front porch waiting for her to answer the door whenever we would go out.

In retrospect, I have no idea what it was that she found attractive about me. I had no formal education or career plan and I was impulsive almost to the point of being considered mentally unstable. I mean, I was saving up to move to Indianapolis and be a professional rap artist. What on earth was she thinking?

Whatever it was, I’m very glad that she gave me a chance. The last three and a half years of marriage have been a whirlwind and I can’t imagine surviving it with anyone else but her. She is quick to overlook my flaws and forgive me, and she is always ready to serve me and the boys however she can. The thing that initially attracted me to her, her confidence, is probably the thing I still like most about her though. I trust her completely and never have the urge to second guess her decisions. It’s cliche, but she’s my best friend and we really do have a great partnership. I’m already looking forward to the day when our boys are old enough to move out on their own and we can spend the rest of our lives falling in love all over again.


Thanks for putting up with me Gretchen, I love you!

In honor of my sister Heidi’s birthday today, I have some fun pictures of a recent family visit. Heidi, her husband David, and my parents came this past weekend and spoiled our boys as much as possible in 48 hours. It was a great weekend with lots of fun and a nice break from being responsible for the kids all day everyday. My parents were gracious enough to watch Sammy and Eli Saturday night while Heidi, David, Charlie and I went on a double date. Very exciting!!!

More pictures in the gallery

Today was Sammy’s first big snow, so we went out and played for a while despite his runny nose.

Charlie is the best hubby in the world! He could do any number of relaxing things during his lunch hour, but instead he comes home to eat with our crazy bunch. It’s such a nice break for me to have company in the middle of the day–someone who not only speaks english but is also self-sufficient. It was so nice outside today that we played in the yard a little and Sammy had the best time! Here is a new album with more pics.






It was two years ago today that we put up our first post at 276 posts, 508 comments and a whole bunch of pictures and videos later we’re still here. So, friends and family, thanks for interacting with us here, and creepy strangers, thanks for not stalking us!

Here’s a video of us celebrating:

When Elijah was born I said that I was going to post a little more about why we chose that name later. The short version is that we think the Prophet Elijah is really great and if I was a little boy I would want to be named after somebody like him.

The Prophet Elijah’s story is recorded in the Bible in 1st and 2nd Kings. Israel is in a dark place worshipping the false god Baal under the leadership of King Ahab, who is described as being the most evil king ever.  Elijah arrives on the scene with no backstory and immediately tells Ahab off, causes a famine and disappears with no explanation. A few years later he shows back up with no warning and challenges the prophets of Baal to a kind of “pray off”. The idea being that both sides pray that their god will send down fire to burn up some ox parts on an altar, and the god that actually does it is the real God. This is a pretty bold move on his part, especially when you consider that the loser of the debate, in this case the prophets of Baal, actually get MURDERED! After Elijah’s God proves to be the real God he has the people of Israel chop the other guys up into little pieces.

It’s not the “murdering people who disagree with me” part that inspired us to name our son after Elijah though, it was his uncompromising commitment to what is right. In a situation where the odds were stacked against him to an almost comically ridiculous degree and he was alone in his opinion, he stood up for what was right with real boldness. He risked everything and the result was a change of heart in thousands of people.

We want Elijah to grow up hearing that story. We want him to grow up hearing about his namesake’s conviction and boldness and know that people are supposed to be like that. Hopefully his name will remind him of what it’s supposed to look like when a person really believes in something.

Eli will be two months old in a few days and has recently become much more expressive. He’s just beginning to smile (yeah!!) and makes some pretty pathetic sad faces. Charlie and I took some fun pictures of him last night, so here they are:

I’m not sure how I’m feeling

So sad

Sweet baby

Troll face

Don’t you like my smile

Mad face!80E3732D-5773-4F26-B23F-63DC82BE8F6E.jpg

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  • Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.