Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An Update....

Greetings! Spring is finally warming us up....the kids and I had been finding ways of entertaining ourselves in the spring rain while praying it stops soon....well, this week, it HAS! So we are spending more time outdoors.

The kids are growing so fast....especially Zanna! She will be 6 months old on Thursday! Meanwhile, Toby is going through another TERRIBLE part of being two. He is driving me to the drink...coffee, that is. With his frequent night wakings and early morning whining, I have been known to drink up to 4 cups of caffeinated beverages per day....poor nursing Zanna.

Promise is maturing and getting to be such a BIG helper! Her delightful imagination never ceases to astonish me! What a smart cookie she is!

In other news....Toby's tubes did not fall out...he just scratched the inside of his ear pretty bad causing his pillow to have a pool of blood on it. However, it was a good thing we ended up in our ear, nose, and throat doctor's office in that the doc did a short routine check on Promise only to find tonsilitis AGAIN! Instead of giving her another set of antibiotics, he has scheduled her to get her tonsils out in early June. Poor girl. Good thing we're getting it done before school starts in September!

This week she is battling Pink Eye again....I am hoping the tonsilectomy will take care of the constant sickness she endures! Her immune system is so low!

At the end of this week, Promise, Toby, Zanna and I will make the trek down to Oregon to hang with my parents over Mother's Day while Tim heads to Vernon for more managerial training. While I am looking forward to being with my family, I dread being away from my wonderful hubby-man for so long.
So here's what we've been up to in pictures....

 Today we washed the van for our visit to Grandma and Papa's.... and there they are pictured below!
It's their anniversary today....#37? I think? I got incredible parents. I like them!

Above is our nightly routine...Tim or myself get the privilege of reading the kids a story (Promise is a great listener, while Toby pesters Zanna while she tries to eat the book...)

Zanna ADORES Promise and Promise is a great big sister....just hoping Promise doesn't teach her new trick...rolling her eyes in disgust when mommy says, "No." When did my 4 year-old become 13??

Any moment we get to go to the park, we try and beat the rain........Zanna like the swing, too!
What's that....the SUN?? YES!
Here comes my beautiful girl!
Toby loves Zanna, too....just a little TOO much sometimes....
We often send Daddy pics of us over his phone while he's at work so he feels more a part of our day since he works such long hours....the one above is us saying, "HI, DADDY!"
And precious Zanna....she is a BIG delight. Though teething, she is always smiling....or almost always.
We have mandatory quiet time each day where each kiddo heads to their room to play or rest...VERY seldom do they nap, but today, this is how I found Toby....totally asleep. :)
Promise is working on her fine motor skills using tiny crayons on the easel. It's really been helping!
Then, Steve and Christina watched Toby, Promise and Zanna this passed weekend for a few hours so that Tim and I could have a date. We headed out to Mission for a walk on Monastery property...that is, Westminster Abbey! No, not the one in London. The grounds are beautiful and the monks allow visitors to walk the trails and visit the cathedral.
Admiring the monks' cows in their apple orchard.....

The beautiful cathedral...
We happened to be there just as the sun broke through the clouds letting in beautiful rays of light!

Tim and I so enjoyed our walk in peace and quiet...no sound of whiney toddlers, crying babies, or responsibility....ahhh....after 11 years, we're closer than ever and the best of friends....he is my greatest time.

Tim and I have been more aware of how blessed we are these days. After having a friend experience the Boston Marathon bombings, a friend and her family go through a very sudden trauma, and several others fighting unexplained illnesses, we are grieving with some and rejoicing with others and praying more fervently. As I gaze out our front window noticing a beautiful Robin slurping worms from our lawn, I am reminded that God sees and cares deeply even for the "sparrow" or Robin, as the case may be....His eye looks on and takes care to see that she gets her next meal...He points her to Tim and Bethany's luxurious lawn (I mean luxurious in the sense of worm-filled! We got lots!) and she goes without question....it may be that our neighbour's yard houses a cat. :)

But how much more does the Lord care for us even though we experience all the pains of a world tainted by sin? He cares deeply for those that are going through hell on earth. He directs our paths and while the path may not always be safe, He has promised to be WITH us always. And where He is, there is peace that surpasses all understanding.

Walking through the monastery forest with Tim was such a great reminder of that peace....the solitude and silence of the grounds were healing from the wounds of the noise of life.....

Be blessed.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Happy Cold Spring!

 Sometimes when it rains and rains, we run outta the house to the mailbox at the first sign of clear skies just for some brief exercise.
 Zanna is teaching herself to crawl....or something like that!
 Then, the one sunny Saturday we had in the last month, Tim, me, and the kids went to the local zoo and while most of the animals were hiding in order to keep warm from the cold wind....how do those camels and lions of desert climates make it through our Canadian winter!?
 And we followed the zoo's train tracks all the way around the park.
 We found a "petting zoo" with animals that weren't at all scared of us riding them!
 Ahh....there are some African deer!
 And what's this? A bronze horse? At the zoo? I dunno.
 ACK! There's a monkey on a monkey's back!
 There's Tim and Promise on the choo choo train! The kids had so much COLD fun!
 And the Zanna goo....she's teething.
 Toby discovered a new use for the Bumbo chair....a whole new Darth Vader.
Every night, either Tim or myself, must hold on to Zanna while we tuck in the kids....last night it was my turn and because tucking in Toby is hard while holding Zanna, the kids frequently ask to have Zanna in their bed....
 Ooops...forgot the Giraffe!
 And Zanna's 5 1/2 month treat....almost time for solid foods!
And the zoo's water park!
SO in other news...Toby's tube in his right ear fell out this morning....not sure what the doc will say about that one. And Tuesday, we drove the 90 minutes to Daddy's work to pick him up at 9:30 am and then spent until well after 3 pm in the US Consulate General's office to get the kids US passports. And after TONS of paperwork and TONS of money, BEHOLD! The kids have dual citizenship and will get their passports in a few months! WAHOO! This was a long-desired hope for us as we wanted to give them the opportunity to live and work in whichever country they desired. :) Hopefully this will keep some future doors open for them! Exciting. Born in the Philippines, citizens of Canada, with citizenship in the USA...wow...what special kids! ACK!
So much going on...currently, Toby is out of his room without permission after hitting Promise, he needs a bum change and Promise is currently whining because I am not watching her....sigh...quiet time ended too early. Better go.
Be blessed! I am!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

 We had the privilege of going with Papa Steve, cousin Lila and cousin Micah to "Stations of the Cross" in Fort Langley. Tim quickly snapped the above pick....how poignant....as we followed the big green tractor and stage, the Cross was carried alongside. One by one, people of all ages came and took turns carrying the Cross....and sometimes it took a few big men to help the little men. So it is with life - we all have our Cross to bear and while Jesus carried it alone, He has given us the Body of Christ, that is, His Church to help carry that Cross together. We are never alone. Thank you, Jesus, for the Cross....may I choose to carry my cross without complaint as my burden is so very light in comparison!

 Easter celebration at the Stewart household actually began with cousin Lila's birthday on Thursday morning at Play Abby! The kid cousins had a GAS, then it was Stations of the Cross on Friday, and the Stewart family Easter Eggstravaganza on Saturday......

 The cousins minus Hosanna....
 And there's Hosanna!! All dressed in her Easter best on Sunday.....we got to rejoice at church and sing "Hosanna" in so many songs! Zanna just looked around smiling....she totally recognized her name. :)
 After church we came home for an Easter picnic in our backyard. We have to enjoy the sun while it lasts!! It begins raining again tomorrow.

 We took a brief nap under the umbrella...Zanna slept in an old plastic snow sled!

Then Toby and Promise spent the last few hours of the day getting drenched in the sprinkler. They're awesome.

And Easter Monday? Well, Tim had to work, but we got to go to the park and run, run, RUN so that all our post-Easter gibblies were out in order to start the school routine Tuesday.
We are so blessed with such beautiful children...aren't they GORGEOUS!? I so love my kids and so thankful for my incredible husband....he is an amazing Dad and he, too, LOVES his kids.
Be blessed