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

Pumpkins, puddles, playtime

Some sunny days around here have allowed us chances to spend more time outside than we expected in October. We checked out two local pumpkin patches and the kids have been relishing the local apple and apple cider season here.

While baby’s growth has me physically drained and beyond mental capacity some days, I’m still thankful I can spend some sweet moments with Timothy and Grace as we anticipate the arrival of their newest sister. Grace’s vocabulary is becoming easier to discern by the week, and her little stubborn ways with saying or doing things remind me of my own (although it’s pretty frustrating at times!). Her humor and compassion for our family is to cute to see grow, especially when she hurries to hug and comfort her brother when he’s sad, even when she causes it! Grace still loves being held when she’s not busy playing and shoving various containers or bags full of toys, books and whatever else she can get her hands on at the time. Her dance moves are enthusiastic and we love watching her get excited to dance with all of us.

Timothy has his better and difficult days (sometimes quite out of sync with mine!), but most days he is quite eager to do some schooling and workbooks around play times, and has taken up practicing writing everyday on his own. This means we’ve needed to provide easy access to permissible writing surfaces and easily washable writing instruments. He especially likes writing or spelling out our all entire family’s names…on everything. Timothy’s animal and people drawings are getting creative and his humor is increasingly quirky and silly. Both kids currently like listening to our Cubbies curriculum CD (all. day. long.) and it’s been fun to see Grace share Timothy’s enthusiasm for the stories, too even though she’s not in the program.