Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy One Year Birthday Jude and Lily!

We celebrated the twins birthday back in June, but we were just swimming with visitors and summer ministries, so we are just now getting this posted.  It has been a fun year and they are growing so quickly in such unique ways.  Lily is walking and climbing on everything, always wanting to be right at my feet.  Jude is a very content little man, happy to be just about anywhere, as long as he is not left out of a meal or snack time!  :)  So here are a few pictures of our two little monkeys, and thanks to Aunt Jessica, who was visiting, for bringing our party supplies from America.

Our two monkeys are so much fun and we are so thankful to have our hands full most all of the time!
Lily dug in with both was so much fun.  I don't know how much cake she actually ate, but she loved it.
This is pretty much Jude all the time, just patiently waiting and THRILLED to be at the dinner table again.
Lily made a perfect mess of the cake.
Jude sporting his monkey ears -- for approximately 12 seconds.  He did not like them, so we only caught quick pictures with them on.
Jude preferred for my Mom to feed him his cake.  I think he figured he would get more that way. 
Lily goes in for the grab on Jude's cake or maybe she is just trying to show her brother how to do it!
Lily was glad to wear the ears the whole day and just loved that she was doing it all by herself.
Lily is a little nut, she found this dog bowl and thought it made a perfect hat!
Jude is always up to something...
And always has a good laugh and smile for anyone who says his name.
Jude loved this trampoline at a local park.
Lily was also having fun bouncing on the trampoline.
Swinging on a beautiful Rwandan morning.
Jude can just never get enough of the sing.  He obviously is enjoying himself.
Grandma Dahlstrom bought the twins new chairs made of banana leaves, just their size.  They are a HUGE hit.
Lily is always investing, curious and exploring her surroundings.  She is determined, a bit shy, a go-getter, quick learner, and likes to do things herself.  What joy it has been to have a daughter and watch her grow just as perfectly as her Creator meant for her to be.  I love you, Lils.
Oh Jude, the dude.  This is our son to a T...happy, silly, playful and content.  He loves his big brother and plays beautifully with his little sister.  He is happiest outside and at the dinner table, but really he is pretty much full of smiles all the time.   Such a sweet, tough little boy.  I love you, Jude. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Growing, laughing and learning....

It seems like our life just scoots along and it just seems to get better all the time.  All the kids are doing great and learning so much all the time.  Whether it be the twins learning to make animal sounds and testing out their legs for standing and walking or Pete picking out pajamas at night for everyone and getting diapers ready for the twins -- everyone seems to be changing.  It has been such a tremendous blessing to be home for this time of our lives and to be a part of each of these experiences.  I cannot think of a better job, then discipling, loving and raising our precious children.  Here are a few tidbits of life over the past months.

Miss Lily is quite proud of her new hat and she loves the swing.  She just giggles and giggles when she is pushed.

There is nothing better then hanging out in the green grass and exploring the yard.  We are so blessed to have 12 months a year of sunshine and warm weather, so we are always able to enjoy the outdoors.

Jude strikes a pose while we visit our friends in the village.  He was quite a spectacle this day, with kids watching his every move through the windows or when we walked about in the village. 
Lily is a little nut and loves any kind of hat she can fine.  Daddy thought these pajama pants fit quite nicely.

Lily is already finding her way into her Daddy's wallet.  She looks quite pleased with what she has found and who really could take money from a face like that?!

Jude found a marker while we weren't looking and went to town.  As with most things, he was hoping it was an edible marker, he got it everywhere you can imagine.

Jude is a funny face maker - he can really ham it up for the pictures and he did not disappoint us in this picture.  He looks like such a little stinker in this one, but he is really quite the opposite - easy going, laid back and happy just about anywhere.

Lily sporting her West Virginia gear and giving standing up a shot.  She is not walking, but certainly likes to stand and walk about on furniture.  Her little leg warmers keep her skinny legs warm on these cold days of rainy season.

Just another day in the yard, in their matching cowboy shirts from Aunt Heather!

Lily found a purple egg on Easter and cared little for the candy, but loved the egg.  She is sporting my dress that my Granny made for me, oh, about 33 yrs. ago!  It was fun to see her wear it and it was beautiful with her blue eyes.

Pete has been practicing his head balancing skills and has gotten to be pretty good.  He was so proud of these carrots on his head.  He sees lots of ladies walking around with things on their heads here in Rwanda.

Not sure why I added this photo, but just thought it was cute.  It was a shot we took for a mother's day gift we made in Bible class and I thought Pete just looked so grown up.

Nothing like sharing an infant bathtub right?!  We have had some pretty major water issues lately, and we have not had enough water to fill tub.  For that fact, we never do fill the tub.  But you wouldn't know these kids cared at all, as they always have a blast in this tiny blow up tub.  :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The McDonald Family Adoption

Our dear friends, Danny and Christy McDonald are expecting their third child sometime in the next year.  They are planning to adopt little Juliet from Eastern Europe.  They already have two beautiful children, Taylor and Bailey, who are excited have a new sister soon.  Please visit their blog and join in prayer for their beautiful family and consider financially supporting their God-given vision of bringing Juliet into the family she was meant to be in.  The McDonald's are amazing people of faith and we are thankful to be on the journey with them and to celebrate what God is doing.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pete Turned 3!

Pete turned 3 years old at the beginning of February...and we had so much fun celebrating with him. This is the first special day that he really understood there was something to be excited about and that he was the highlight of the day. He was so excited about everything, from the moment he woke up. And though we didn't go to Chucky Cheese or have a big, super cool party -- he had so much fun. Being with family and loving life are about the best things you can have on any birthday. We are thankful moment by moment for you Pete.

Pete wanted his hat on first thing, this is 6:15 am and he was skipping around and singing happy birthday to himself!

Thanks to some visitors we had, Pete got his favorite powdered donuts on his birthday morning...DELICIOUS!

Pete and Mommy always pose under our birthday sign - I hope I can always hold him for this picture....:).

Could his little grin get any more goofy and sweet? He got some new clothes from MeMa and he was pretty pleased with them, as you can tell.

No better present then playing with his 10 Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies all day. He absolutely loves his puppies and has been so sad to see all but one puppy go to new homes. Needless to say, Mom and Dad have not been so sad!

Jude and Lily were 7 1/2 months old on Pete's birthday and were happy to celebrate too!

I love this picture of Pete concentrating so hard on hold up 3 fingers, that he stuck his tongue out! He was really proud of himself for figuring out how to keep three fingers in the air.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Fun-Filled Christmas 2011

We had a lovely Christmas this year and it was full of surprises, fun things from family and friends back home and good time with teammates here in Rwanda. Starting with a visit from Santa...

Jude and Lily are already ahead of Pete, when it comes to smiling pictures with Santa. Pete now has three years of screaming Santa pictures and as you can tell it went no better this year!! And yes, we continue to torture him and try to convince him that Santa is a good guy. It does make me laugh that parents want their kids to like a completely stranger old man, to sit on his lap and take candy from him. What a great tradition?!

Thank you Grandma Stella for the delicious Dr. Pepper, that Pete so desperately tried to squeeze one more drop out of the bottle after Daddy finished it.

This was the only downer about Christmas, Pete got harrassed by a Nairobi Eye, which is a blister beetle. Pete actually smashed it on his face and the acid from the beetles body causes blisters, burning and a lot of mess over the past two weeks. It is still peeling some and is finally clearing up.

Thank you Rogers cousins for Pete's new tool set. He plays with it ALL the time. The only bad thing about it, is that our walls are so terribly weak, that we fear that Pete might actually put a huge hole in the wall which is plastic drill or hammer. :)

Our traditional Gingerbread-making contest and Fred Shelby smoked us all. He came with one amazing design and here it is completed--garage, car and all.

Lily was not as worried as she looks in the picture, I just thought it was too cute a moment not to catch. Pete LOVES his brother and sister so very much.

If we can't have snow for snowmen, then we will make them out of red grapes. Our first time ever to buy grapes here, a REAL Christmas treat for us all! Worth the splurge, it totally made Pete's day.

Making our green Christmas tree cookies, as always. Pete loved decorating them, at least for the first tray of them. Then he was off to sword fight, play with our dog or take on some other adventure.

Pete continues to LOVE to read. Here he is spontaneously reading Frosty the Snowman to his sister. He turned the book around and everything all by himself. I was so impressed, that I even sat down and listened to him sing the song to her.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas Packages and Hot Winter Weather

Family and friends have been so sweet to us this you can see we have gotten a few packages to make our holidays so very special. Here are a few pics of the kids sporting some of their Christmas clothes and enjoying the warm, warm weather of Rwanda during December.

For anyone concerned about the picture above, Lily did NOT ride the scooty with Heath without a helmet. We are always safe and have a good little helmet on her! :) Just kidding, she did not ride the scooter at all.

Jude is loving his little exersaucer and is full of smiles and looking for adventure. He chews on everything in sight now, but no teeth yet. We will see in the weeks to come, I am guessing they are on their way soon.

Thank you Mema for our new outfits, they were so much fun.

Sometimes I do not know what we would do if we could not play outside anytime we want to. Everyone loves it and the weather permits it, pretty much every day of the year. Somedays it rains for a bit, but the sun always comes out and we can enjoy our swingset.

Another picture of our Christmas pajamas from Mema every year. Only difference in them is the size! As you can tell, Jude is wearing a slightly larger size than our sweet Lily. They are both growing well and eating great, but Jude is just a bit more energetic about eating!! :)

We are thankful to have two healthy and happy twins in our lives. We sometimes wonder what it would be like to have only welcomed one little one into our home 7 months ago. Life would be so boring! :) Thank you God for every bit of joy, laughter and exhaustion you have blessed us with.