Monday, December 15, 2008

Im not a big fan of winter but I do enjoy it up until Christmas though. Mark and I have been making the most of every moment we get together and it has been fun! This weekend Mal and Mark played in the snow a ton and even built a snowman. Mal was super happy! We also went down town Elgin to see the lights it was a bit wet and chilly but felt like an adventure. Owen was pretty suprised by the cold, poor little guy! We also got to watch 2 movies as a family! Prince Caspian and Horton hears a Who! Fun! When I was at Moms house Friady night Mark and Mal watched the Gremlins! Still not sure if that was a good idea but Mark seemed to think so. =) Mal did like it, he loves scary movies. And the boys saw Santa! Tomorrow the boys and I are going to bake cookies at Kims with Mom!

We are working hard on our finances. Mark has been working with a woman the church got us in touch with and she has been a great help as far as getting a plan together. There is something comforting knowing that you have someone to give you advice and hold you accountable. It really helps and we feel blessed that she is willing to take the time to serve us in this way.

We are looking forward to going back to Iowa on the 26th. Iowa has become my second home and I really enjoy being there and seeing the family. I also love how much it makes Mark happy.

I think thats it for now. I have coffee brain so its hard to post! Haha!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Owen Pants

Owen is nearly 6 months old already! Here are some pics of his latest developments!
Owen is trying very hard to crawl! I think we will be in the next 2 weeks. (but I could be wrong) He gets up on his hands and kness and can scoot forward and backwards.
He has started doing this funny tounge curl thing ALL the time!

The camera was dirty here. =) Sorry! This was his first rice cereal experience. He didn't like it to much but was curious enough to give it a try!
Here Owen is with his Uncle Jason and Uncle Noah. Jason, Noah, and Joey took Mal to see Bolt Saturday. Owen stayed with me but I was sure to get a picture. =)
Here little Owen is sitting! What a big boy. Time flys. =)

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Hmmmm....Life is so bazar. I have been thinking a lot about a quote from Joyce Meyers that Kim used to have up on the fridge. It said," you can be pitiful or you can be powerful but you can't be both." I keep trying to be both. The scared girl inside me wants to be pitiful and have Mark, friends, family, God...anyone really... save the day so I can feel rescued, pursued, and loved. But the Mom in me wants to be powerful so I can protect my children, so they feel safe and loved. I want to be a strong example to them and others. And I have a deep desire to help others.

God has been drawing my attention again and again to the little boy I support through Compassion International. We have supported him for 4 years now. His name is Samuel and he has several siblings. He is 9 and is in 3rd grade. His father has died and his mother works as an assistant Mason. He lives in Dire Dawa in Ethiopia. Most adults there earn only $10 a month! Where he lives 50% of people are Muslim and about 40% are dif. variations of Christian. 50% of men can read and only 35% if women. Most families live in houses with dirt floors and tin roofs. Only 11% of the rural population has decent drinking water. 23% of the population lives below $1 a day. 5 years agon 1 and a half million people there were infected with Aids.

Lately when things are hard I can not help but think of Samuels mother. I wonder how challenging life is for her. Mark and I are having a hard time with money for sure but when I see how little she makes and how if I try to be more disiplined the little I have could honestly change her familys life. I think how could I not do that!? How can I not help Samuels mother? If that were me I would want someone to say," I see you. I care about your hardships. I care about your children! I want to help you." I have been writing Samuel and I tell him to let his Mother know I pray for her. And the past 2 months I have been able to send their family additional support outside of my sponsorship. With the additional support (as little as $10 extra) it can make a huge difference. I hope it dosen't sound like I'm saying this to pat myself on the back because I don't mean that. The thing of it is...this is what makes me feel powerful. It gives me some encouragement to be a better Mom to the kids I have. It brings me joy and that makes me stronger.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

We were ready!

The group of us Trick Or Treating! Mark took the pic and Corey was hiding! Grrr!
Madison Jane! My favorite of the Halloween pictures!

Frank helping Malachy

Malachy and Owen looking pretty serious!
Mark and Malachy playing while we get ready to go
All the Kiddos!

We had a great time trick or treating with the Kunzes, some Millers, and a Cooper. I think they had fun too...but I did see Crystal making different plans for next year...hmmmm. Mark's theory is I take too many pictures and annoy everyone! ;) It was the most beautiful day. We got so lucky. Then we went to Dennys for dinner and headed over to see my parents! Perfect. I couldn't have had a better day. AND Mark bought me a Pumpkin Spice Latte and a piece of Pumpkin Pie! Crazy good!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Steph wants to be Love

1 Corinthians 13:1-8a and 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails....And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is Love.
I made bold the ones I'm working on. It's a journey that's for sure! It is a comfort to know that God loves me this way!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Poor little Owen

Little Owen burnt his hand yesterday! I was at Crystals and I was talking to her while she did the dishes. I had Owen on my hip and was resting his weight on the counter. We were talking about the yummy dinner she was making in her crock pot that I was standing next too. As it occurred to me that crock pots are hot and I should move Owen he flung his hand out and hit the crock pot. Corey saw it and says he touched it briefly but the damage was done. =( He cried, SCREAMED, for a very long time. 3 of his fingers turned bright red and had huge blisters! I took him to the doctor because when I called the nurse she said I had to take him in and get some antibiotics. Then after the 20 min drive, $25 co-pay, and 1 hour wait the doctor says I don't need a prescription. Just try not to let the blisters pop and keep it clean. Of course last night Owen popped the blisters. Luckily it didn't seem to hurt him but now I have the task of keeping it ubber clean so he doesn't get an infection. Wish me luck!

The doctor recommended band-aides. Crystal and I tried that only to have Owen tear them off with his teeth. So we decided that wasn't such a bright idea. So now I'm cleaning it and putting on neosporin 3 times a day with a mitten over it. Here's hoping that does the trick!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hello, Hello, Lovely, Lovely, Smiles, Smiles...

My title was inspired by my Mommo...Alice...she still makes me smile! I remember her little hand written notes she would send. They always included smiles and often told me that I had intelligent eyes and that she had told my father that when I was a little baby and it's still true... AND I brought sunshine! I'm happy now just thinking about her! Yay for Mommo who is in heaven with Poppo the love her life. Can't wait to met the man who captured Mommos heart because she was something else...he must have been special.

Anyways...I didn't start to write this post thinking about Mommo but she popped up into my thoughts leaving my morning a little brighter then it was...thanks Mommo!

Soooo....this new blog template is the handywork of Crystal! She also updated the link to Val's blog! Thanks Crystal!

Things are going ok here. Still getting dizzy spells fairly often....daily! Doctor says I have Vertigo. It might be from my allergies enflaming all things including the tubes in my ears making me dizzy. So I'm taking more allergie and sinus medicine. Mom's having a rough patch with her health too! Been praying for her.

Owen gets cuter with evey passing minute! I adore him. He's such a gemini and reminds me of Noah's personality. When he's in a good mood he's the funnest one in the room and you can't get enough of him and when he's in a bad mood...he's in a BAD mood! Both moods come on easily and switch often. =) Love him to pieces!

Malachy is exhausting! He is full of life and energy and curiosity! He has a wicked sense of humor which I blame poppo for in both the nuture and nature catagories! I'm trying to learn how to let him be himself and celebrate his energy while keeping him under control so I don't go nuts....ahhhh...parenting! He starts dance class with Madison thursday and I'm thankful he will have an outlet for all that energy!

Mark's still working hard. The Chapel job is over but he has some other part time work he is picking up already. It's one of those things that is our blessing and our curse. He's fighting off a cold right now, has a bum knee from a bball injury, and had a filling fall out! Poor Mark!

It was Dad's bday this weekend but we didn't celebrate yet. I was in a bad mood too. Poor Daddy! We will celebrate when we get together with Noah and Lauren in a few weeks.

Haha I just noticed that I have ended nearly every sentence with ! That's so me! Well anyhoo...theres my update!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Update and some pictures too!

Hola! I thought I should update because I haven't in a while. Lets see...
Owen is doing really well and is already over 3 months old! He's so handsome and such a delight. I'm overwhelmed with love for him all the time and it makes me so happy. Of course Malachy continues to be the joy of my life as well and is always amusing me and exhausting me. I feel so blessed to have this time with them and never want it to end.

Mark and I are still struggling financialy. Mark continues to work 7 days a week and it is tring on us. I try and have hope knowing that this is only a season in our lives and will pass. However lately I have had a hard time believing it will pass. I'm trying to remain hopeful. =) Mark continues to be an amazing husband and I'm so thankful for him! We had an amazing time in Iowa and really enjoyed seeing the family there! Mark hopes to go back for his 30th birthday in November. I'm all for it if we can come up with the $270 in gas it takes to get there and back! I also have to start thinking about a birthday party for my little Malachy! I love birthday parties. =)

Moms had a hard month and I feel really sad for her. The worst of course was that Uncle Si died. Somewhat unepectantly and that was hard. Uncle Si was the brother that "found" Mom and I know that was very special for her. Growing up as an orphan it was important to her to have family that wanted her and Si did! He loved Mom alot and carried her picture in his wallet all those years till he found her. I will never forget the joy it brought Mom and how fun it was when they all came from Florida to stay with us for a week. It was one of the happiest times in our family for sure! I remember we stayed up late while Mom and Si played guitar and Si told us ghost stories! Sally made us yummy dinners and they taught us how to really be prepared for storms!

Si's passing came right after Kim had a miscarriage which was pretty devastating for all of us. It was a scary day and very emotional. Poor Kim was heartbroken and we were heartbroken for her and for ourselves because we of course were all looking forward to meeting this little baby. Kim is still grieving but is doing well. She is so brave and I admire her so much.

Mom made the decision to postpone her classes in order to be more available during this time. I know that was a disapointment for her. But it is another testament of her love for all of us and her desire to put family first. I know we are all greatful for her love and care and our looking forward to her getting her classes started next semister!

Dad seems to be doing well but his job seems tedious, long, and unpleasent. I'm hoping it ends soon because I barely see him and when I do he looks exhausted! I know he was pleased Notre Dame won this past week though!

Marks Mom is in Russia again so that is exciting! We only got to see her 1 day when we went to Iowa but it was a fun day! And we are happy that she still has the oppourtunity to serve Jesus and the Russian people because we know it brings her much joy and fullfillment! =)

I guess that is it...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Summer Photos!

Mark has been keeping busy with work and me with the boys. But we have managed to squeeze in a few summer memories together! We hope to make a few more in Iowa pretty soon here! Until then here are some pictures...

A fun day at Mortons.

Some yummy diners at the parents

And of course Wild West Town

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm glad

I was thinking how much I love being a Mom today. I'm feeling really glad that Mark and I had enough faith in ourselves to follow our gut when I decided to quit my job. It was and remains a painful decision, and in a lot of ways I'm still seeking peace over some of the hurt I feel about how things went down. BUT again and again I feel like my life is securely in Gods will and He has me right where He wants me. While I miss being a part of the ministry and I miss the people I worked with, even the ones that ticked me off... I know that the work I'm doing now has an immeasurable value and I would have really missed out on too much if I were still working full time. God has been so faithful to us and has provided. Mark has been able to find side work that he really enjoys doing. And just last week when thigs were looking rough we got 2 checks in the mail, one a rebate from overpaying a bill over a year ago. It just reminded me that God knows what he is doing and all things are in his timing. I'm so blessed!