"I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete." John 15:11

Friday, September 28, 2012

Support Orphans through the Little Flower Projects

"I'd like to ask God why He lets poverty and injustice exist, why there are so many orphans and why He does nothing about it, but I am afraid He would ask me the same question."

One of my good friends has a huge heart for orphans, specifically children in China.  It looks like adoption isn't an option right now, so she has found another way to reach out.  Katie is coordinating a Virtual 5K for the Little Flower Projects.  The Little Flower Projects was started by a husband and wife, graduates of Franciscan University of Steubenville.  Little Flower Projects takes care of orphans in China who need extra care and medical attention. She hopes to raise enough money to cover the salary of one Nanny for 6 months, which is approximately $2,000.

In case you are wondering (I was), a Virtual 5K means that anyone, anywhere can participate! You can walk, run, or do something healthy in the name of the orphans anytime between October 13-October 21.  Of course, you can skip that part and just donate to the cause as well!  For more information, click here

For those who live near us, there will be a meetup at a local park on October 20.  There will be a fun run/walk with refreshments afterwards and there is a great playground and pond to enjoy as well.  It will be really informal and family friendly, so no worries about skill level.  Let me know if you are interested and I will get you the details.

Please consider helping out this great cause!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Claimed for Christ!

One of my favorite parts of the baptism ceremony is when the priest lays his hands on the child and says, "N., the Christian community welcomes you with great joy. In its name I claim you for Christ our Savior by the sign of his cross."

Julia was claimed for Christ on September 16 during a private Sunday mass in the same historic chapel where Philip was baptized.  Two of our priest friends celebrated and we were surrounded by family and friends. 

Philip was invited to draw the sign of the cross on Julia's head along with her parents and Godparents.

The celebrant invited our good friend's sons to participate by serving the mass and holding the chrism.

He also invited Philip to help pour the water over Julia's head.

As you can see, there were lots of nice touches that made the baptism so personal and special for us.  The readings for that Sunday were beautiful and perfect for the occasion.

The celebrants with my parents

Andy's parents stayed with us for a week and a half leading up to the baptism to help us out.

We asked Andy's oldest brother and sister-in-law to be the Godparents and were so happy to have them travel from Georgia to celebrate with us.

Now a family of four!

Afterwards we enjoyed the beautiful weather and had cake and drinks with our friends.  I love getting so many friends from different parts of our lives all together at the same time.

My mother purchased this gown for my sister's baby who is Philip's age.  Now Julia has worn it and it is going back to my sister who will have another baby girl in November!

Thank you Lord for blessing our family with this beautiful baby girl!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Big Brother

Our little man is adjusting so beautifully to being a big brother. I wanted to jot down a few things about his transition while they are still fresh in my mind.

A couple months before Julia was born, I borrowed some books from the library that I hoped would help him understand what it would be like to have a baby in the house.  He wasn't interested in them at first, but a couple weeks before her due date, he started to request them.  Even now, when we do story time, he requests his favorite "baby" book.  The books and our talks with him seem to have done their job. Philip has taken everything in stride and hasn't seemed surprised by all the changes going on.

I mentioned in past posts that a couple months ago, Philip had gotten really clingy and wanted us to be with him all the time when he was playing.  I was worried that this phase would last and cause some problems when the baby was born.  The week before Julia was born, I realized that he had been playing a lot more independently in recent weeks while I was busy nesting.  Just in the nick of time, he worked through the clingy phase and he has been really good about entertaining himself quite a bit throughout the day. 

Proud of his block towers

Since we live far away from family, one of the advantages of having a scheduled c-section was that my parents were able to be in town to take care of Philip while we were in the hospital.  They had so much fun together and it put us at ease knowing that Philip was able to stay at home in his element while so many changes were going on around him.  We loved getting updates about what he was saying and doing throughout the day and were impressed with how well-behaved he was for his grandparents.  I'm so glad they got this special time together.

Playing Angry Birds with Grandpa is fun!

 Last morning with Grandma and Grandpa

Philip visited us at the hospital each day, but was quite scared by the hospital bed, so he mostly avoided me.  His initial reaction to the baby was one of aloofness.  He was slightly interested in her, but mainly just wanted to play.  Once he realized there was a trail and a fish pond around the hospital to explore, he never really wanted to be in the hospital room.

At home, thing are pretty similar.  He is so busy playing that he doesn't focus much on the baby.  He is sure to give her a kiss before going to bed each night, though  I'm sure part of what has made things so smooth is that Andy has a very generous paternity leave benefit and was able to stay home with us for the first three weeks.  Philip and Andy bonded even more than ever and Philip was able to keep getting lots of one-on-one attention.  Andy returned to work this week, but his parents arrived the same day, so there are still lots of loving people around to give him extra attention. 

Diaper changes were interesting at first - now they are old news

Philip still loves to play crossbearer.  Andy found a DVD of the Latin Mass that he had received at an event and opened it one day.  Now Philip begs for us to turn on "church" so that he can watch and practice being an altar server.  We figure at least if he is watching TV, he is getting something wholesome!


His language development has really exploded and we are amazed to hear him pick up multiple new words each day.  Sometimes we hear him babbling and in the midst of gibberish, we hear, "baby."  We are curious about what he is saying about the baby, but it all seems good!

We are so thankful that things have gone so smoothly thus far.  Here's hoping that this lasts!

What Philip would look like with facial hair

Getting reacquainted with his old friends
Philip at 9 weeks

Here is the whole family at a Labor Day picnic this week