Merry Christmas 2016

We hope this greeting finds you well! 2016 was a rollercoaster of a year as we adjusted to Mary’s arrival. We were also glad to have had family trips to Toronto, ON; the Oregon coast; Vancouver, B.C.; and soon to the New Jersey/Philadelphia area.

Andrew has enjoyed the sweetness that comes with having girls and loves spending time with his daughters. He’s starting to give Timothy piano lessons, and his eager protégé is having fun with it. Business travel increased quite a bit for him as he grew in his role at Groupon and became a director.

Jenny’s 2016 has been challenging and faith-building with our school journey and caring for three littles. Although busy with lesson preparations, she continues to enjoy Bible study and is learning a lot about teaching children through BSF and our homeschool curricula this year. She’s also excited to stand by her longtime sister-friend Lauren as she gets married soon!

Timothy had a fun year of growing and getting to know his sweet baby sister, daily expressing his great love for her. He enjoys music and is eagerly learning to play songs. He also likes to write sweet notes, post signs around our home, and caption his illustrations and crafts. Timothy has grown in his love for the Bible, books, and magazines; often expressively reading to his little sisters, too.

Grace enjoys outings/dates with just Papa or Mama, helping in the kitchen, and “chatting” with her sister.  She’s often found reviewing her favorite books or pushing dolls, bags, and play food around the house in a stroller. Our very spirited little girl has been adjusting to being both a younger and older sister and shocks Jenny with how much Grace is like her mama in personality.

Mary’s first year was challenging healthwise, but this sweetie is tough and continuing to grow stronger. We praise God for His mercy and His people’s prayers! Mary is affectionate and delights us with her giggles and wiggles. She loves feeding herself, chasing us, dancing, and pulling herself up to bounce and stand. She was Mama’s travel buddy to the East Coast in September and did so well on the planes, trains, buses, and subways.

We are now, more than ever, longing for the reign of Jesus in our broken world. We’re praying you find your hope in Him as well. Cheers to 2017!

Finding a New Normal this Spring

As we prepared to celebrate Easter, Timothy and Grace enjoyed learning new songs and outside play time that accompany the warmer weather. The unpredictability of many our days has me adjusting  my expectations of what we’re able to get done each week. Our new normal means I shouldn’t be in much of a hurry to get things done, and that our weeks are pretty much spent at home around the girls’ naps. It’s been really sweet to see Timothy and Grace grow as older siblings. They both enjoy trying to entertain Mary and their baby sister is a pretty patient audience to their performances. Since outings are more challenging to time, we’ve been making more use of our front lawn this year to have picnics while Mary naps.

Celebrating Resurrection Sunday this year was especially fun as the older children showed more interest and understanding of why we celebrate our hope in a Risen Savior. Our Lent readings and activities and readings spurred on discussion and tradition-building as they learned new hymns and discovered new treats. They enjoyed their Easter baskets, eating Resurrection rolls for breakfast, proclaiming He is Risen, and having friends over for brunch. I was especially heartened by the reality of a risen and victorious Savior as the reality of my own sin needing atonement. A gracious and loving Savior who took on my anger, fears, shame, resentment, impatience, faithlessness and numerous other failures has been a source of truth and solace lately as I continue to stumble along in motherhood. What a joy that we actually get to celebrate the reality of the resurrection every week in our church family gatherings!

The older kids have enjoyed exploring outside and we’re anticipating the garden and fruit trees blossoming and bearing fruit this spring and summer. Northwest springs and summers are so nice! We’re also excited (and a bit daunted, honestly) by our upcoming trip to Toronto as a family of five, and look forward to the fun times we’ll have with family and old friends.



Life with three littles, 3 and under

These days are full in many ways with all the messes, requests, meals, and cuteness these young years bring. We’re incredibly grateful for all the help we’re able to have during this season. I’m thankful for a supportive and helpful husband, parents-in-law, and the postpartum doulas who have served our family very well. Homeschooling has definitely slowed down a lot since Mary’s arrival, but all the help we’re receiving still allows me to get some time with Timothy to continue some of the lessons that he’s so excited to do together. I’m thankful he picked up reading pretty well in the month before Mary’s birth because it has helped him pursue a lot on his own as an eager student.

Timothy has been thrilled to see Mary every single morning and all throughout the day. We really couldn’t have prayed for a sweeter big brother for Mary and continue to praise God for giving him a tender and thoughtful personality. Grace’s zeal for Baby Mary is cute, and we’re working on ways to include her safely. She’s so eager to say hi to and touch her precious little sister. It’s been challenging for me to find dedicated time to spend with the older children, and am beginning to really sense why middle children can often feel lost in the mix. It sure explains some of my own angst growing up! Our son has risen to the occasion in multiple ways as a helping firstborn, becoming more independent and caring. He has even taken on sorting and folding Baby Mary’s laundry because, as he states in Chinese, “Mama is so tired.” Moments like this in the midst of the newborn fog are just too precious!

This stage of cuteness is passing more quickly than I realize even though the days can feel so long. Having little ones less than two years apart each has been so sweet in some ways, but hard in many others. We started February with a scary stay at Seattle Children’s Hospital because Mary caught RSV from the older two and needed breathing support. It was such a blessing to have grandparents here to help with the older two children while I was at the hospital with Mary. She’s a trooper and has since recovered well with no further respiratory issues.

Grace turned two, and was so happy to celebrate her “happy day” with cake. She’s grown up in so many ways, and we’re looking forward to seeing how she grows this year. It was a treat to get to celebrate early with my in-laws and again with some friends at our house. I also enjoyed seeing Grace show so much enthusiasm and understanding of it being her birthday this year. This spunky girl of ours continues to wow us with her funny attitude, cute pretend play, and healthy appetite.



Making room in our hearts

November flew by for us and now we’re only weeks away from welcoming our next baby girl into our home. We enjoyed some birthday celebrations, Thanksgiving, putting up the Christmas tree with the children this year, and are ramping up for the big change in our growing family. It was really fun to see Timothy so excited and involved with picking out items and writing notes for the Operation Christmas Child boxes this year. Hopefully we’ll do this together in future years and he’ll get to be even more hands-on.

We’re getting our home and hearts ready to receive the gift of another daughter and the good news of Jesus’ incarnation Christmas. Timothy’s been excited about our Advent readings and recalling the memory verses that point to Jesus’ coming at Christmas. His daily expressions of gratefulness for his new baby sister are so sweet to us and it’s been precious to see his excitement catch on with Grace, too. They both seem eager to take on their older sibling roles to their little sister so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out when she arrives and rocks our family’s world.

This last month of 2015 was a flurry of activity with some final outings before meeting Baby Mary and continuing to prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ birth. I finally finished packing our hospital bag on Sunday before Christmas and went into labor that evening. It was unexpected, but after hours of laboring at home, we went to the hospital in the middle of the night and met sweet little Baby Mary Anne Ma at 3:16AM in the morning on the 21st. Twelve days early was a new record for us, but we were so grateful to get to meet Mary before Christmas and celebrate this additional blessing in our family as we adjusted to being a full-fledged family of five.


Merry Christmas 2015

2015 Christmas Card front

Hello dear family and friends!

2015 was quite a time of healing, changes and growth for our family. Being a part of a new church plant (Doxa), shepherding our children, watching Timothy and Grace’s friendship develop, and growing in our marriage have all been challenging blessings in our year.

For Andrew, fatherhood has been increasingly enjoyable as the kids have grown and have more fun with him. He continues to serve in Sunday School and other areas as needs arise within our church family. He also coached Timothy’s PeeWee soccer team this fall. Workwise, he spent another year at Groupon, expanding in his role to build additional teams in Seattle and NYC to work on the “Things To Do” business.

Jenny’s highlights include starting to home school, teaching older kids in Sunday School, serving and learning in Bible study, and growing in hospitality while we’ve sought Jesus’ healing for our losses. I’m grateful for this stage of our family while I can serve at home, even as I stumble along most days. We’re excited to welcome Baby Mary Anne soon, and welcome your prayers for this new chapter.

Timothy continues to be an affectionate, generous and sensitive big brother/son in our family. His year’s highlights include trips we took, watching his sisters grow, and many adventures with Papa. We’ve discovered he is a voracious and focused little learner. He cracks us up with his comedy and keeps us busy with his questions about everything. He currently enjoys games, puzzles, books, spelling/writing, singing, and all sorts of vehicles. He also likes being an Awana Cubbie this year and doing school at home with Mama.

Grace’s spunky little personality continues to emerge and she is a delight to us. This year she began walking, talking a lot, eating up a storm (not infrequently out-eating big brother!), exerting her increasing independence, and keeps melting our hearts with her humor and cute antics. She loves family time, imaginative play, and giving many hugs & kisses. Grace is also quite the accessorizing little lady and can often be found lugging around containers and bags filled with goodies.

We’re thankful for you, and pray this greeting finds you looking towards the One who can provide you with ultimate hope this season and in the future. Merry Christmas and Happy 2016 to you!

Andrew, Jenny, Timothy (3 1/2), Grace (22 months), and baby Mary