Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Roo!!

5........One whole hand......."I'm five, I'm five, I'm five!". This is an important moment in the life of Jerusha Pauline. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, she is five. And should you have the good pleasure of speaking with her on the phone, she will inform you, in no uncertain terms, that she indeed had a birthday and that she is half way to 10.

Jerusha has grown so much this past year. Starting pre-school, tying her shoes (that's a recent one) learning to print and even beginning to read. Her understanding of spiritual things has expanded too. She holds onto Biblical stories dearly and works hard on her memory verses, and while she pushes boundaries (let's hold on to reality here) she is a delight to have in our family. I don't think she's ever heard a song or piece of music that she didn't want to dance to, or seen a pile of dirt that she couldn't make into a gourmet dinner. I am so thankful for our Jerusha....happy birthday sweetie!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Birthday Extravaganza!!!

Here's a story.......this April I turned 30. Yep, 30. I think it'll be my best decade yet! My "baby" brother John came for the weekend right before my big day. It was a short visit but it was so great just to spend time with him and get to know him again. We enjoyed wrangling the girls and showing him the city. I went to drop him off at the airport, we were there a little early so we had supper together. He left to use the washroom and when he returned there with him was my dad! And then my mom! And then my older brother Tim! I couldn't believe it!! My family came to surprise me for my birthday.....and they got me good! It was such a blessing to have them here, at just a time when we could use the encouragement, God is so good that way. I don't know if they knew I was feeling a little homesick at the time but God knew before hand, and He sent my family to be with me. Jeremy, obviously was in on it, and the entire weekend with John and week with the rest of the Stobbe clan was a blast. Showing them around the city. Taking them to our favorite place, the Bike Trail. Baking Paska (Russian Easter Bread) with Mom. And then for my present (like there could possibly be any more!) they all chipped in and got me a new digital camera. I've had a great time rediscovering a hobbie I have neglected for a while. I am so grateful for my family, both the Stobbe's and the Taylor's and my own sweet family. The Lord has given me such a gift. Dad and Tim and Roo on the Bike Trail. Roo informed everyone of the rules.....stop when Mom calls.....stay on your side.....have fun.....and catch a butterfly. That last one was her own addition, but wouldn't you know it.....Tim and her caught one!
Mom showing Roo how to bake Paska...get in touch with your menno side girl!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Family Update

Two months is a little too long to go without updating, I apologize. But, let me fill you in on what has been happening in the land of the Reds. I have thoroughly enjoyed making this house a home. Figuring out what works where and what needs to move. It has been a thrill to go through our own things, books that I haven't finished reading yet, Jerusha's baby books, craft supplies, it's a bit like Christmas....without even having to pay for it!!

God's goodness still amazed me. Right next door there is a family that have 4 girls. One of them, Cora, is 5 years old and will be starting kindergarten next year with Jerusha. I am so thankful that there will be a friend on the bus for her. And of course, they are fast friends. I can't help but think of my dear friend, Pam. We met when I was in kindergarten and we are still dear friends today. My friendship with her is a one-in-a-lifetime kind of know the friendships that while you may not see each other as often as you like, you pick up right where you left's not a friendship of's worth much more than that. All that to say that I don't expect Roo and Cora to have that kind of friendship, but I remember when.....

Naomi is as sweet as ever. She is such a shy little girl, slowly warming to people, such a different personality than Roo. She likes to make us laugh and she is really into making sure every door is closed....not sure why, but she seems to enjoy it. She also has an ear for music, although she tends to enjoy the rock genre more than anything.....I can appreciate that!

Jeremy is working hard as usual. Right now he's in Minnesota for school. Ministry is going well, we have such a range of students coming to youth group, from the ones who have gone to church all their lives to the ones where this is a new thing for them. We love having all of them. The students have really gone deep this year, their relationships with Christ are maturing and we are seeing the fruit in their lives. I am so thankful that God allows us to speak of Him...and even get paid for it! The church itself is going through a rough many are. We are searching for a senior pastor and in the mean time there has been a lot of transition, a lot of change. My prayer for our church is that we are united. There are so many hurting people so close to us and we need to be a beacon and a safe place.

I have more to write about, but I will do that in my next post. Happy spring!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Here We Go....

"It's moving day!!!!" This is how Jerusha woke us up at 6:00am on Feb. the 7th. Whenever we would talk about moving or the new house we would make sure that she would know that it is the house that God is giving us and we have to wait on His timing. Well...He apparently informed her that at 6:00am it was go time. We were moving! Here is Roo and Noamers in the moving truck with Jeremy. Some wonderful friends took care of the girls for the day while many other friends came and helped haul everything from house to house. It was a lot of work but we were so happy to do it. Home sweet home....when you're coming to visit, this is what to look for!

I just had to show you a picture of the new kitchen. Mom, I can't wait for you to see it in real life! I was thinking of all the Easter and Christmas dinners we made together, we could really cook up a masterpiece here! Next time I'll include some pictures of the girls' rooms, they've gotten quite good at giving the tour!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Home For well over a year now, we have been calling the Sabbath House home. But the thing's not really our home. We've made memories here, we brought Naomi into our family here, we've celebrated and cried in this house, and we are extremely grateful for it. I've tucked Jerusha into bed at night, thankful for the warm bed, but in the back of my mind always remembering that it's not really her bed. I've served dinner on plates, and while I'm very thankful for the food and the ability to serve it, it has never been on our dishes. We have had a front row seat to watch God's faithfulness to our family (all from the comfort of very plush couches), and have waited to go home. Well, it's happened. We closed on our house last Friday. A lovely 3 bedroom home in Mason (suburb north of Cincinnati). It was a foreclosure and needs a bit of work and we've been going very strong for a week. We have it all painted and we just have the carpet to do and the master bath. So many people have come out to help us paint, with the plumbing or the many dear people that have been praying with us to bring us home. As we go through this experience (living in a place that's not ours) I can't help but think that really, this is just how we should feel. Living in this world but knowing that there is a place so much better, a place where we will truly be home.

Thank you so much for praying through this with us. I'm not sure what all I've learned or how I've grown through this, that's to figure out later, but I do know that God good. We are working very hard to get the house ready to move in, we are expecting to move on the 7th. Like I said, we are working on the master bath which is a little beyond our comfort zone for home repairs (Jer is fond of saying "let's just say I'm more handsome than handy"). Thankfully, we have some very capable people helping should be fun! I'll be sure to post some pictures,I've taken quite a few, however they are all at the other house...I'll blame it on all the paint fumes I've been inhaling.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Family Time

I hope your Christmas was as lovely as ours...we enjoyed having the Taylor side reunite at our house. With lots of food, new toys and two very willing uncles (thanks Aaron and Jonathan!) Jerusha and Naomi were running from morning till night. It was great to take the time to catch up with each other and just enjoy one another's company.

Here Jerusha and Jonathan share their Christmas meal. He made for much better dinner conversation than her sister does, so Roo made the most of it and spent every meal chatting it up!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I love this time of year. I love time with the girls doing fun cozy crafts on a cold winter night (like this smashing gingerbread house that Roo and I that Puffalump is showing off...I think this is the best house I've ever made!)

I especially cherish the moments when we teach the girls about why we celebrate Christmas, That God entered our world. We've been talking a lot about grace, kindness when it's not deserved (rudementary, I know) and Naomi has been giving Roo lots of oppportunity to practice!

We had the great pleasure of going to Jerusha's first school Christmas program. Here she is giving me the old thumbs up in the middle of a song, but if you look closely, not many kids are actually singing anyways. Beside her to the right is her best school pal Ally. They couldn't be any more cute!