August Adventures

Little Grace has now had a grand total of six little teeth emerge and is really making herself known in our little family with her emerging independence and sometimes sassy attitude. She’s talking a lot this month and mimicking many new words and phrases in both Cantonese and English. Some current favorites are signing and saying “Jesus is wonderful”, yes in both languages, “I know”, “oh no”, big brother (Gaw Gaw), draw in Chinese (劃畫), asking us to put on her shoes or sleep sack, pick her up or give her grapes in Chinese, referring to herself as little sister (Mui Mui), “blueberry”, and calling out for me (Mama) repeatedly and randomly so that I can respond with her name. It’s like what Timothy does with his precious little call and response games, and it’s still so cute to me. She and I had more time alone with each other this month while Timothy had sports camp and swim lessons, and I’ve enjoyed these times with our little girl, especially as it helps me to take closer notice of some of her changes. She does a lot of playing pretend by herself and some with Timothy. It’s pretty amusing to watch them cook in the play kitchen and eat each other’s creations. Grace’s more apparent spunk and independence is helping us to see more clearly how different she is than her brother.

Between play dates, lots of workbooks and park outings, the children and I also made it through two different work trips Andrew had to take in August. Timothy and Grace ebb and flow throughout the days in their relationship and varying stages of getting along, which certainly have some days feel too long or fly right by. Some of their sweet brother-sister moments make me tear up and savor this endearing season. Other challenging moments can be exasperating as I face my selfishness while attempting to teach them to love one another selflessly. Timothy’s big brotherly affection has been apparent lately as he’s been eager to greet and snuggle his new little sister everyday, all day. We’re happy to be expecting another baby in early January (probably arriving in late December) and are thrilled to have another daughter. As we approach the year mark since finding out we lost the baby in between Grace and this next baby girl, I struggle to embrace the joy of this blessed season of welcoming new life after loss. It’s difficult to share our news without the pangs in my heart of missing a child, especially knowing that so many others have suffered similarly devastating losses and the mixed bag of emotions when it come to sharing in others’ joys. It’s also impressed upon me the how short and fragile life is, and how my job is to impress that upon our children’s hearts even as we soak in this precious and fleeting season. Their expressed fears and tantrums (and mine, too) are hard, but the delightful moments of relational harmony, snuggling, playing, learning, reading, singing, giggling and dancing sure brighten up our home.

Cold days at the beach

We took a trip down the Oregon Coast and enjoyed some family time together despite the weather not cooperating for most of our visit. Around power outages and heavy rains, we checked out the Tillamook Cheese Factory, took a steam engine train ride, ate local ice cream, played on the beach, and visited pretty Cannon Beach. It was a nice way to end the month, but we’re glad to be back in our own warm home since autumn seems to be coming in strong with cooler temperatures and some much-needed rains. My upcoming 30th birthday also signals the start of an exciting new BSF study in Revelation, a more formal weekly routine of homeschooling and activities, and a new decade of growth for me. I’m floored by how much our children have developed this summer, and am excited for this season and rhythm it will bring for our family before we welcome a new little one into our home. Thanks for keeping up with our growing family!

Trains, Planes, and Rains

2015-02-09This post is quite late, since we’ve had a flurry of activities lately around here. Our family began 2015 by celebrating new marriage and helping to launch a new church plant in Bellevue, and January just flew right by!

We tagged along with Andrew down to the San Francisco Bay Area for a week while he needed to work down there, escaping some of the cold and showers up here in Seattle during that time. In addition to the adventure of flying, another of the most thrilling parts of the trip for Timothy was living so close to a Caltrain station for a week, hearing and seeing the trains go by frequently. While it got old for us adults (especially when trying to fall asleep at night!), it was a consistent source of excitement for Timothy. It was so fun to see this trip in part through the eyes of a toddler discovering much of the world, and talking about it back to us. The children and I were guests at a BSF program in the area, and all really enjoyed our classes.Fun playground across the road from where we stayed It was great to have BSF still be a part of our week even though we weren’t home. We all enjoyed the sunny weather, time with many friends, and great food during our visit. I will not however, miss the terrible traffic down there. 😉

Grace is growing into quite the social little gal, and we enjoy seeing her interact with new people with varying degrees of enthusiasm. She is super interested in everything around her, and is becoming too busy for all the hugs and snuggles we give her sometimes. She is a frequent and enthusiastic clapper, especially to music. She continues to enjoy new foods and is taking well to drinking water from straws and cups. Her two little teeth are emerging more and we’re just waiting for the next ones to pop through soon. Grace hasn’t expressed any interested in walking so far, which is much like Timothy at this age. I think it’s probably because there’s still so much to be explored and touched (thrown around, really) on the floor and low shelves, and she’s not into keeping up with big brother yet.

A Grateful November

Soups are often simmering in our home to beat the cold and we’re bundled in sweaters and sweatshirts on most days. The children are typically wearing 3 layers of clothing already, and I wonder again how I used to be able to survive the icy east coast winters with snow! We’ve had streaks of nice sunny days which, though quite frigid, were otherwise great in November. Timothy got to experience a number of firsts this month including ice skating, fresh popcorn, his own cup of hot chocolate, and a TV show (Hammy Hamster) and enjoyed them all.

Grace gets so many brother kissesWith much more neccessary supervision these days, Timothy and Grace are playing together more. It is just too cute sometimes to hear Timothy sing and read to his sister when I’m out of the room. The big smiles and giggles Grace has for her brother are some of best things I get to witness each week.

Grace is pulling herself up to stand often, is a pro at navigating single steps now so she can freely moves around our first floor. She also does some push-up looking exercise moves while busily exploring things we try to keep out of her reach and is becoming quite adept at standing. She’s still our calm and happy little girl, but has definitely had more feisty moments recently. She also has a penchant for garbage cans so we need to keep a close eye on her in our upstairs rooms.

Such a musical hamTimothy’s singing has improved and fills the house everyday with hymns and children’s songs. I was actually concerned he may be tone-deaf when he started singing a lot several months ago, but his latest improvements have dispelled that thought. I guess it just takes some time for little ones to find the notes. 🙂 He knows most of the letters of the alphabet now and is been starting to count more consistently in both languages. As with earlier this year, Timothy continues to call out sister’s latest milestones with surprise  – “Baby is awake!”, “Baby is moving!”, “Sister is crawling”, “Sister is standing!”. It’s been cute to watch him notice her development.

We hope you’re enjoying this Advent season!

November Highlights and Thoughts

Hooray for bright crunchy leaves!

We had so much to be thankful for this last month!

A quick road trip at the beginning of the month to celebrate friends’ wedding allowed us to enjoy a bit of time in Vancouver together. We were also happy to have some beloved visitors this month in our home. I entered my third trimester with baby #2 so we’re pleased to be in the home stretch of the pregnancy and meet little Grace Elizabeth next year. We’re anticipating the good news of our second nephew’s arrival at any moment now and look forward to being able to introduce Timothy to his new baby cousin after Andrew’s brother and his wife have their second little guy.

He takes after Papa in being industrious and helpful

We celebrated Andrew’s birthday this month and it was a nice relaxed day of hanging out and enjoying some of his favorite foods. It’s such a pleasure to see Andrew grow in his love for our family as an outflow of what the Lord is doing in his life. I’m blessed to witness God grow him as a husband, father and church servant this year and am excited to see what’s coming in the years ahead for Andrew.

Our Christmas tree and decorations have been up and it’s so fun to see Timothy enjoy them more as we try to share with him the great meaning and hope of this season. He especially loves the singing/dancing penguin and snowman animatronics we have – so much dancing and clapping goes on with them throughout each day!

It seems he’ll hug anything fluffy

Timothy started giving kisses to people (instead of only stuffed animals, dogs he meets and books) while Grampa Ma was visiting this month so that’s been sweet. It’s one of my absolute favorite forms of affection from him along with his daily hugs. He moves to all sorts of tunes and really rocks out to Christmas music; we can’t help but join him in the goofiness sometimes. It’s gotten too cold to go out much, but we did get to take in the last of the newly fallen leaves and nice weather before the month ended.

“Hello?” – Silliness in a box


We ventured into the world of larger family vehicles by purchasing a new car this month. You can find us cruising around in our red Mazda5 nowadays. My pregnant body is grateful for the ergonomic height of the car and the sliding passenger doors are terrific to have with some of the cramped parking situations out here. As with other changes happening around the house lately, Timothy appeared to adjust quickly and happily to the new vehicle. I’m glad to make use of the increased space with our growing family.

Timothy’s personality and busyness continue to delight us and we’re eager to see how he transitions into being a big brother. He already seems pleased with his new title and still loves to hug and kiss his baby “妹 妹” (little sister) everyday. It’s hard remembering not to call the little guy “baby” so much anymore since he points to my belly and actually says “baby”…but we’re pretty sure we’ll think of him as our little baby for a long time to come.

Enjoying the last sunny days

We enjoyed abundant Thanksgiving celebrations with several sets of friends in the last week of November. It was Timothy’s first enjoying the holiday table foods (directly anyway ;-P) and it was fun to see him continue to expand his palate by gobbling up turkey, ham, and stuffing. I am immensely humbled with our numerous blessings this year as we enter the Advent season in anticipation of Christmas. As Grace Elizabeth grows and moves actively inside of me, I think more about the wonder of Jesus’ coming to us in the form of a helpless baby to save us; a wholly undeserving and rebellious people. We’ve been in the book of Malachi lately with our church family and it’s hit me hard again that we truly don’t deserve any of the blessings we receive. Every gift is a sign of grace from God and He alone deserves the glory and praise, no matter how much I try to clean myself up and put on a good front. With my outbursts of impatience and ingratitude, I pray that God would redeem my days with Timothy and help me to point him to Jesus in my sins and shortcomings.

Enjoy this season of reflecting and celebrating the Savior’s birth!

April 2013 Photos

Spring has officially shown itself in all it’s splendor here in Seattle and we are sure enjoying it! A busy April brought along a lot of extended family time for us and many relatives met our little guy for the first time. Our trip to Toronto also allowed Timothy to see his first snowfall on the day we left (yes, it was that cold!). We are enjoying the warmth and blossoms that spring has brought here and look forward to enjoying more of the season together.