Saturday, May 20, 2017

Encouragement


 

Thank you to so many for being pray-ers, cheerleaders, encouragers, and counselors along this journey. We are so thankful!

Graduation!

Last night was remarkable.

Commencement from Bethlehem College & Seminary. The end of one journey and the beginning of another.

Oh, how much life has happened since Ben started seminary 4 years ago. How many papers written, diapers changed, books read, miles driven, milestones marked, memories made. Late nights, early mornings, long hours, weary eyes, full hearts.

I am so proud of you, love.

You have pressed on along a long journey. You've leaned on grace, fought for faith, romped with our boys even when papers called. You have had an open ear to my requests and concerns, a closed eye to many of my faults and sins, a warm hug at the end of many long days.

I am so glad to be at your side. And gladder still that we are both held by the everlasting arms. May He hold us fast. I love you!

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 24-25







Saturday, April 22, 2017

1 Year Old!

1 year old!

11 months old

10 months old

9 months old

8 months old

7 months old

6 months old

5 months

 4 months

3 months

2 months

 1 month

 2 weeks old



Dear Elliot,

Wow, what a day! You are one year old, and you are growing by leaps and bounds.

It's always fun to mark a first birthday... Today you got to devour an entire piece of coffee cake, a bowl of yogurt, lots of bread, baked beans, crackers, some bits of grape, and a mountainous cupcake. All of which you polished off with supreme ease and enjoyment. You wore it well, my son.




Here on your first birthday, we make note:

- You are definitely mobile. Your favorite destinations are the area under Victor and Josiah's chairs at the kitchen table, where you happily graze among the crumbs for many long, quiet minutes before I notice. You still have a cute little two-legged hop to some of your crawling steps. It's pretty sweet.



- You throw up a hand and say (your version of) "Hi!" when someone comes in the room. It's very cheery and warm.

- You still only have 2 teeth, but that doesn't stop you as long as the food is nice and soft. Saltines, cereal (Special k and corn flakes), and yogurt are favorite foods. You are also a fan of whole milk. But you don't handle your own sippy cup, you still won't drink from a bottle, and Mom is a little nervous about leaving you for 4 days the week after next... But I'm sure you'll do fine!

- You still put everything in your mouth, but normally when I come to fish something out, you'll kind of stick it out with your tongue, so it's not too tough to reach. That is very accommodating, buddy.

- When you wake up from naps, often Victor will come in to greet you. He almost always sings to you (Jesus Loves Me and My God Is So Big). You really like it!

- You still give absolutely the best snuggles. You put your head down on my shoulder and grab my arm, and just lean in for long moments.




Today I want to remember and pray for you again, my special verse for you. The meaning of Elliot, and our greatest hope for you: "The LORD is my God." As Zechariah 13:9 says:
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

Elliot, when the troubled times come, call on the LORD.
When joyful times come, call on the LORD.
When your heart is uncertain, call on the LORD.
When all hope seems lost, call on the LORD.
When you are amazed and humbled at the grace in your life, call on the LORD.
When you feel like you have no friends, call on the LORD.
When you see brokenness in the world and in your own heart, call on the LORD.
When you feel your need for forgiveness and mercy, call on the LORD.

Last Sunday we celebrated Easter. The victory of Christ over the sin and death. O my son, may He, our gracious Maker, Keeper, Savior, and King, be your God and the hope of your heart all the days of your life.

I love you , my big one-year-old!

Momma

Sunday, April 16, 2017

He Is Risen...

Oh, so much to be thankful for today!

Despite a bit of mastitis that hit me on Friday, and despite a last-ditch puke for Josiah at 2am last night, we all met this Resurrection Sunday morning feeling quite joyful and well.

We started the morning with a little "searching for something" scavenger hunt 
(like the women, who went to the tomb to care for Jesus' body but did not find Him there). 
Their surprise included matching spring jackets for the big boys and a new(er) copy
of one of our Bible story books which has come upon hard times. 
 


The boys also talked through the Holy Week events using the Resurrection Eggs with Daddy.




Josiah got to open up the last egg.
 

There was nothing inside!


Sweet to hear our boys explaining this empty egg.
Victor: Josiah, the egg is empty because the tomb was empty. 
Because Jesus rose from the dead!



Two dapper-looking Katterson men heading to the early service at church 
(while the "sick, weak, and infirm" stayed home).
Victor got to eat a donut on the way 
(with a hole in the middle, of course, because the tomb was empty!)


Josiah had a great appetite, but with his middle-of-the-night upset tummy, no donut for him.
So, we had "empty tomb toast," and he got to roll the "stone" away 
to see that nothing was there!





We also Facetimed with Grandad and Grammy.
Elliot was feeling mighty fine.




In God's kindness, we were still able to host our Sunday lunch gathering!
It was lovely to enjoy time with our Katterson cousins, Pop-Pop, and the Clausens.

It was just a delightful, sunny afternoon.






We enjoyed a feast of food, lots of fun fellowship, games, and a candy hunt.




To finish off the day, we soaked in the evening sun with supper on the deck.






These were truly special moments, but to be honest, our greatest joy today is the unshakable reality of Resurrection Sunday. That God gave His own Son, who lived perfectly and died to pay the debt of our own sins, and then who rose again to prove that He was indeed the triumphant, redeeming Son of God--this is glory! This is joy! He is risen... Jesus is risen indeed!

A joyful Easter to you each!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Stomach Flu

We had just arrived at Como Zoo to meet some friends when Victor said his tummy hurt.

Go potty. Walk a little. Sit on a bench. He would crouch down between exhibits. Not good.

But he rallied after some pretzels, ate a decent lunch, said his tummy was feeling better, went potty again, and came home for a nap.

At 3:30, he came out (with vomit dripping down an arm and leg) and let us know he had spit up.

Oh, Stomach Flu. You are such a never-welcome guest here.

3:30pm.
4:30pm.
6:00pm.
7:15pm.
9:00pm.
11:00pm.
11:53pm.
12:55am.

Then Josiah started.

2:00am.
3:15am.
3:55am.
4:38am.
5:36am.
8:01am.
9:40am.

I'm just not sure how many loads of laundry we ran in the past 24 hours. (Josiah, in particular, is not a particularly good aim.)

I have a pretty good idea how much sleep I got, but I don't want to dwell on it.

The harbinger cough. The call. The retching, even after the belly is empty. Oh, you are a terrible thing. A picture of our awful Fall.

But on the other hand.

How thankful I am for a washer and dryer, so easily available.

I'm so glad neither of the boys got terribly dehydrated.

Only 10 hours apiece. Really not so bad.

Elliot has been spared, thus far.

Ben was able to help with a fair bit of it all.

We still have a few days before welcoming family and friends here for Easter.

I had a mental flash, sometime in the night, of the scourge of ebola that loomed so large a while ago. I could imagine the horrific dread that must have fallen on mommas and caregivers with the first signs of sickness. In comparison, o Stomach Flu, I could indeed nearly call you a friend.

And this week of all weeks, we remember our great Hero, who stepped into our Fall-tainted world and wore a flesh that was susceptible to the flu bug, the bite of a thorn, the explosion of pain that a nail could produce.

Victor over sin and death. Firstborn from the grave. Promise of coming joy. Thank You.



Monday, April 10, 2017

Bible Story Time

I love these sweet boys.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sweet Birthday Celebrations

Birthday celebrations with some of our favorite folks ... such a special way to celebrate spring and all the boys' birthdays!