Thursday, August 30

hit the road, Jack.

We are excited to head to Virginia Beach this weekend and see so many of our good friends from our seminary days and our church there. Then heading to Andrew's parents in NC for the week.
Looking forward to some
beach time
seeing G & E play with Mama & Papa
 (Graham has been talking about it non-stop)
and a slow week with these people. :)
and blaming Sarah for my love of picmonkey. :)

Monday, August 27

my first { very colorful } 5k

The much anticipated Color Me Rad race was finally here!
It was so much fun. I enjoyed being there with lots of friends and a mere 10,000-15,000 other runners. :) They said it was the biggest CMR race they had ever had. That being said, traffic ended up being a nightmare. While we thought leaving an hour and a half early for a (normally) 30 minute drive was sufficient, we were still sitting in stop & go traffic 2 hours later. But the CMR people were very laid back and cool about it and let everyone run as they arrived. 
Seriously, if this event is coming near you, you should do it!
Our past month has been so full that I barely had time to do any training. Good thing it was only a 5k. I think I had run about once a week. So this past week I called on some dear friends for favors and was able to run both Thursday & Friday mornings. That being said, I was a little sore after running 3 straight days by Saturday night!
So glad I could run with my friend Bethany. :)
 The "paint" is non-toxic, gluten-free colored cornstarch. During the run they had 5 stations set up where volunteers pelt you with the powder. 2 of the stations were also spraying colored water which was interesting. The course was much more hilly than we anticipated, but hey, I guess it is Pittsburgh. It would be hard to find a course anywhere without some hills.
I was amazed at how many kids participated. There were lots of strollers being pushed and since kids under 7 were free, there were a lot of them! One of these days I'll talk Graham into getting dirty. I'll probably have to wait for Eden.  :)
The finish line was the blue station which is why I think most people ended up looking blue.

 Like father like son.....I don't get it. And don't touch me. =)
 This girl of course wanted in on the fun.
 I'm not even sure how this happened!

 If you have to be stuck in traffic for 2 hours, it might as well be with these people. :)
{photo credit: Graham}
He comes out with the camera: Get togeder, guys.
 photo credit: CMR
Yep, I will do it again next summer hopefully!
Who's with me?
Check out their race schedule here.

Friday, August 17

Eden: 18 months

Yep, our Eden-girl is officially one-and-a-half.
6 months till she turns 2, so hard to believe.
She is into some serious imitating these days.
She does the computer like a pro, doesn't she? Hasn't managed to erase anything yet, but she did turn off the computer. twice. while I was in the middle of something.
She's my best don't-even-think-about-sitting-at-the-computer check,
she does not like it!
She's a girl, of course she likes (anyone's) shoes.

She loves to play with trucks & cars, I am assuming because that's what she sees her brother playing with.
Rockin' the moose....and the look.
Wearing Graham's shorts......
We finally managed to drop morning nap in month 17. I would have never thought she would go that long. But it is nice to have free mornings again!
She loves to be silly & crack us up. Her new goal is to see how many silly faces she can come up with.
She can sometimes be very finicky about what she will and will not eat. Standard snacks like banana bread or string cheese she won't touch. Eggs or cereal - no. She eats oatmeal most days for breakfast now, but I think she's getting tired of it so she is going to have to learn to like something else! Pizza  - nope! Like Graham she chows fruits & veggies like they are going out of style. Of course, I am very happy about that. But getting my kids to eat meat? It's hit or miss!  
We often go for evening walks after dinner. One sweet older couple in our neighborhood always offers them freezepops if they're sitting outside whenever we walk by. The first time neither of my kids had any idea of how to eat them (I was embarrassed!). Is it bad that I went out & bought freezepops? I decided unhealthy or not, this was an American kid tradition they should know. :) So now they're totally hooked. And pros. Of course.

We are so happy to hear more & more words from baby girl. We started with the B words - baby, ball, book....but are now moving into flower, potty, more, milk, car (wawa for some reason), bear, thank you. Of course at this age new ones come often.
It's funny at this one word stage when their words can sound quite demanding.
ball, ball, ball!!
more, more, more!!
Yes, potty. She asks to sit on the potty all the time. I do let her, but so far nothing has happened. She does not like to have dirty diapers and definitely lets me know when she needs to be changed. But I don't have any desire to dive back into the potty training world again! Should I just let her sit and see what happens?
She is easily bored which then turns into fussiness. I think this is more a girl than boy thing. Sometimes I feel like the fussing never stops. She doesn't entertain herself very well yet so unless she has my undivided attention she may not be happy. But then there are those moments when she & G are happily playing so well together. Agh, so nice!
It's fun as she's able to take in more & enjoy more things as she gets older. She definitely has a strong will and is one determined little lady!
But she is still as sweet as can be and we wouldn't trade her for anything in the world!
Love you, Eden Hope!

Tuesday, August 14

hello. goodbye. Psalm 103.

These should probably be 3 separate posts, but in my limited blogging minutes I am going to have to combine.

hello Moon.
 If you've been on facebook, you are probably aware that we have a student from China that is staying with us for the month of August. It's kind of a roundabout story, a friend of a friend of an aquaintance.......but we are happy to have her here! With a guest room, full bathroom, and private balcony in our lower level we are thankful for a great space for guests, even that stay for a month!
We are learning a few Chinese words and she treated us to a Chinese dinner! We are having fun showing her fun places around Pittsburgh. And many times I magically find toys picked up and dishes done. How wonderful is that? :) We have had discussions on the differences in our cultures, the perceptions of Americans, the freedoms we enjoy (being able to jump in a car and go anywhere or have as many babies as we like), how the world began, how the world will end, communion, gays & lesbians (not seen in China), God and much more. We have found Connect 4 and Go Fish to be good games to play and that the kid's books are very helpful in teaching English! I have also been helping her plan a 7 city tour (that I totally want to go on!). With $5 Megabus fares from Philly to NYC to DC and $1 greyhound fares from San Diego to LA and $150 airfare from DC to San Diego it's more affordable than you might think! She also has a hostel membership and so is able to stay places for sometimes as low as $15 a night. In a few cities, she is also staying with some of our generous friends along the way! It's been quite the adventure to plan. Did I mention I'm jealous? :)
Goodbye Kristin. {sniff, sniff}
This girl was not supposed to grow up and leave us! What a blessing she has been to our family. Who doesn't love that person that calls and says I'll be there in 15 minutes. And you don't even have to change out of your pj's. {She probably wishes we would.} hehe. She has babysit for us many times and our kiddos love her. We will miss her so, so much but know she's off to an adventure as a freshman at Liberty University.
Psalm 103
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

My heart has been so burdened for so many friends as of late. So many are going through such difficult struggles. My prayer list has grown longer than I would wish it to be.
 The twins babies born seemingly healthy, only to go into heart failure. 
The preemie baby who was/is touch & go.
{All 3 babies, by God's grace, are getting stronger!}
The friend whose father has stage IV cancer.
10 of Andrew's co-workers suddenly laid off.
A friend with a miscarriage.
The church family being divided.
A baby born and the mother suffering horrible complications.
The friend with cancer. 
The friends facing uncertainty.
The wife with 3 young kids who faces losing her husband to disease.
The mom with a 2 day old baby whose husband is killed in a car accident.
The angst in my heart for these situations, all occurring just in a few short months time, is so much. Does anyone else's daily struggles seem small right now? We can only cling to our hope in God, knowing He loves us unconditionally.
We sang this song in church on Sunday, a promise we must live.
You must stop & listen to it {maybe twice}.