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

December Festivities

As we celebrated Christmas, we started a new tradition of choosing a gift to give to Jesus and let Timothy pick out the first present. True to his own interests, he chose a gift of fruit tree seedlings. When the children show more understanding, we hope that the Lord will move beyond our own feeble efforts to convey the weight and wonder of Jesus incarnate to our children. I’m humbled at how wondrous and incredible the story of Jesus coming to rescue us is as we reviewed the story and Scripture with new eyes. When I became exasperated and wondered what else can go awry the world with so many awful new stories still streaming in during the last weeks of 2014, I was reminded of exactly why Jesus had to come to earth in the first place; to live perfectly and die in our place because we could not and cannot save ourselves. Behind the façade of happy pictures, the same brokenness and sin lives our home, too. This Christmas celebration helped me to experience more freedom in not trying to have it all together, and in letting Christ’s perfect work be the one to shine in my sin and shortcomings.

Grace did really well on a weekend road trip down to Portland, and continues to be a flexible and easygoing baby. She stands often and even climbs stairs with supervision. Grace wiggled to Christmas music – bobbing up and down, and shaking her arms and head excitedly to music; moves she likely picked up from her brother. One of my favorite moments this past month was catching both kids wave their arms at the same time to “Little Drummer Boy” while riding in the car one day. Grace is quite chatty nowadays and trying to form lots of words, oftentimes already “repeating” what we say. She even says “bye-bye” sometimes! She also raises her little hands to wave and reach towards people, showing us how interested and social she is lately. Her latest favorite food is nori (seaweed) snacks and she enthusiastically feeds it to herself. Her appetite for solids continues to increase and her curiosity for our table foods has as well. Grace loves her bedtime book so much that sometimes we wonder if it might make her too excited before sleeping. She’s been humming when I sing to her at night, and it’s super sweet to hear her little voice keep up with mine. Because she’s ours, we find her gentle disposition and happiness overwhelming on top of her cuteness sometimes. We continue to be deeply grateful for the gift she’s been to our family.

Timothy got to meet some friendly chickens on our trip to Portland and continues to fill our house with songs daily. He asked to listen to “O Come All Ye Faithful” repeatedly, along with “Angels We Have Heard on High”, “Joy to the World”, and “Go, Tell it on a Mountain“. It was great hearing him sing carols this year and be eager about our Advent reading activities each day. Timothy had many tastes of treats from a cookie exchange and various festivities this month, and especially enjoyed the frosting off the birthday cake we had to celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas morning. He was quite the gift-opener as he tore through his own presents, and insisted on helping the rest of us with our gifts.

One afternoon, I overheard Timothy reading to himself the last pages of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in Chinglish,  saying “Big A, little A, Big B, Little B” in Chinese. It still surprises me how many quirky things he picks up from me. We also made very incremental progress in some Spanish vocabulary this month with a new book so hopefully the novelty won’t wear off too quickly. The Rs he can’t roll right now are pretty hilarious, though. 😉

We hope your 2015 is off to a good start – Happy New Year!

P.S. If you missed our Christmas video, you can check it out on YouTube.

Merry Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014 Front

We hope this greeting finds you safe and well. 2014 proved to be an emotional rollercoaster for our family. In addition to celebrating life and milestones with the birth of Grace, our fifth wedding anniversary, and various firsts as a family of four, we also endured loss. Our hearts have been stricken with much heaviness with news stories, distress in our church family, and losing a child. As it does for us, we hope this Christmas season also causes you to reflect, wonder, and anticipate the Good News.

Andrew – This year, I made another career change and left Amazon in May. I joined Groupon to build and manage an engineering team to work on a new mobile app for travel. While we seek the Lord in our church home situation, I continue to serve with technology needs and children’s ministry. We lost Stewie rabbit this year, but 11 years was a good run for that soft brown bunny. As I grow in fatherhood, I enjoy my adventures with our growing little guy and adore my precious baby girl.

Jenny – I had a full year with getting used to caring for two little ones and learning to fight for joy in the Lord. We lost our third baby in September and it’s been difficult to work through. I’m thankful for how God has been immensely gracious with me, though. Questions linger, but I’m learning to trust his sovereignty, purposes, and find comfort in truth. Part of the redemption in this is that I have much more compassion for others’ hurts and have renewed hope in the resurrection of Christ.

Timothy had a big year of growing, playing, and learning. He loves music, water, books, vehicles, balls and so many foods. He dotes on his baby sister and loves doing things together with Grace. Some of his favorite songs are hymns and he belts them loudly. Taking after Andrew, he’s a bit of a clown as he often tries to make people laugh. His Cantonese and English both surprise and crack us up often, too. Timothy’s self-proclaimed favorite color is blue and he enjoys being around lots of people, but especially our family.

Grace has been an immense blessing to us and we so enjoy seeing glimpses of her personality distinctions come out as she grows and explores. She is very sweet and social so far, and overall a mellow little girl. Though small, she is strong and can hold her own among the bigger kids. We find her often plunking on the baby piano by herself, or playing quietly with books and toys. Grace enjoys her BSF class and has taken to new foods well so far. She is affectionate towards our family and has special smiles and giggles for her Papa and brother.

As we move forward, we are thankful for opportunities to grow in faith, regularly open our home to invest in others, contribute to building a church plant, and continue to shepherd our children. May you find hope in 2015 as well.

Merry Christmas 2013


Merry Christmas, family and friends!

2013 brought our family many blessings for which we’re grateful.

Andrew continues to do well on the Instant Video team at Amazon. It’s also been a joy for him to serve our church by using his technology gifts to improve processes and create valuable tools to use in building God’s kingdom. Andrew and Jenny both enjoy serving in the kids’ classes at church on Sundays as well.

Jenny is continuing to enjoy and be refined through her roles at home. She loves caring for Timothy and experiencing so many of his early milestones. She also hosts and co-leads a women’s weekly Bible study. It’s wonderful to have our home filled with all generations of women hungry to learn from Scripture, along with many busy babies and toddlers.

Timothy had quite the year with learning to talk, play, walk, dance and much more! We love seeing his sweet little personality continue to emerge and appreciate seeing him help out around the house with chores. He continues to bring many smiles and laughs to family, friends, and folks we encounter while out and about. His favorite activities include enjoying books, being affectionate with his stuffed animals, exploring outdoors and eating lots of food. Stewie (our 9 year-old rabbit) seems somewhat acclimated to friendly Timothy and doesn’t appear to mind all the attention and petting too much, especially since they’re accompanied by fresh produce treats.

We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and continue to learn much about God’s intent for marriage. Our little family took a few trips this year for weddings and had fun making some memories. We experienced the beautiful island of Maui in March and Timothy seemed to relish his first taste of the tropics. Another trip to Toronto allowed Timothy to meet much of the extended Ma family. We are saddened to have lost Andrew’s Grandma Ma in November, but are thankful that Timothy got to meet his Great Grandma Ma in April.

Looking into 2014, we’re very excited to meet our second child (first daughter!) Grace Elizabeth in February. Timothy seems pleased to be a big brother and already hugs and kisses his little sister while she’s still in Jenny. We are thrilled to welcome a baby girl into our growing family and welcome your prayers for us as we learn to raise a daughter.

With lots of love, Andrew, Jenny, Timothy (1½ years) and Grace (coming soon)