Monday, December 7, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Changing of Seasons & Seasons of Change

Happy Thanksgiving! We have much to be grateful for, but my mind is continually drawn back to privilege of being known by God because of Jesus Christ. What great reason to be thankful and rejoice! We also have MANY other things to be thankful for including...

We are thankful for a new home! A week ago we moved across town. Some dear friends of ours had a job transfer to Phoenix, so we will be renting their home during their absence. We already have fallen in love with it, and are thankful for the ability enjoy this change from apartment living. :) We will put up pictures soon once we get more settled! For now, here is a little picture from our Christmas tree that we put up yesterday!
We are thankful that Thanksgiving break brings some college students home! Here is Joel spending some fun time with DK. :)
We are thankful for family to celebrate with! We spent the afternoon at my parent's home celebrating Thanksgiving with the Hougham side of the family, as well as grandparents. We are so thankful for the family that God has given to both Justin and me. Joel enjoyed the appetizers and dinner of his first Thanksgiving too. :)
We are thankful for healthy bodies! Our little family participated in a local charity event called the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. We did the 5K and had a blast! (the pictures were AFTER the event:)

We are thankful for our precious baby boy! Actually, our baby boy is growing up and turning into a little boy. We thank the Lord for his life and that God spared it even amidst medical difficulty and an uncertain future. He is such a gift.
Hanging out with Grandpa and being carried around in a duffle bag. What fun! :)
Enjoying a little "Joel sized apple" at Apple Hill
We are thankful for dear friends! God has blessed us with special friends to encourage and strengthen us. These are our friends that have just moved to Arizona, and we miss tons already!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Family, Friends, and the Family of God

We were thankful to enjoy a visit this weekend from Justin's cousin, James Davis. He is stationed down in Oxnard, CA for a couple months for training as a part of the Air National Guard. He drove up and stayed with us and we had such a great time of catching up (it had been many years!), as well as encouraging one another in Christ. We were grateful for the time he took to drive up and are excited for him to return home to PA in a little over a week to his new bride, Mel!
Last weekend I was able to drive down to SoCal for a quick visit with some very special girl friends. It was a blast, and such an encouraging time. We packed the time as full as possible. Thankfully Joel did absolutely amazing during the car ride, making it an even better experience. :)

I was able to stay with my dear friend Hannah. We had lots of catching up to do as it had been almost a year since we had really talked last. We made the most of our time, talking into the wee hours of the morning. I was also able to connect with some of our girls down at Masters College & San Diego Christian College. What an encouragement and blessing to see them where God has placed them during this time in their lives. I'm so excited for them!

On Saturday, we drove down to San Diego to see Andrea. We made a couple quick stops at various places in this beautiful beach city, one of which was the Del. That was one adventure filled day, which included a $7.69 coffee drink, giving away our lunch, and driving for many hours. We will always remember this day though!
A visit with Hannah is not complete going out for coffee. On Friday night, she took me to Aroma Cafe in Studio City which was abosolutely DELICIOUS. Beautiful ambience, rich coffee, delectable chocolate cheesecake and a dear friend...that makes a special night! (Joel feel asleep in his carseat under the blanket on the left...he hasn't done that in a long time!)
Friday for lunch I picked up Laurie and Brooke and we headed over to Stone Fire Grill to eat some yummy salad. Joel and I enjoyed catching up with them. :)
When I was about 3 months pregnant with Joel we began looking on Craigslist for some baby furniture. We found a set we really liked, borrowed a truck and headed up to their home to check it out. We ended up meeting an amazing family, the Simulas, who also know and love Christ. They were such a blessing to us, and actually ended up giving us the entire set for free! So a couple weeks ago, we finally had this sweet family over to see the nursery in use and meet thelittle man that uses it! Dave, Jill and their two boys Jordan and Noah were adorable with Joel, and we thorough enjoyed our time with them. Thanks again Dave and Jill!

Friday, October 23, 2009

a pumpkin for a pumpkin

Today my mom, Joel and I went to a pumpkin farm a couple of minute from our home. We had such a fun time. Joel loved every moment of it. He kept kicking his legs and looking everywhere. It was so sweet!

Chewing on some straw.
Spending time with my little man on a 400 pound pumpkin.
Joel saying, "Hi Grandma! I'm on a hay ride!"

A little pirate. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's a rainy day in the neighborhood...

We are having our first big rain and wind storm here in Sacramento. Branches are strewn around, power is out for some, and there are lots of BIG puddles. Some of you may now that our apartment has a little pond in back of it. Well, due to the rain, we also now have a good size pond in front as well. Joel is fascinated by the rain. I think this is first he remembers of it!
So, due to the rain, we didn't go out yesterday afternoon, which meant lots of play time for Mommy and Joel. :)
Joel also became an aspiring pianist yesterday. He found the keys and loved making music...well, maybe noise...but I like to call it music.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall is Here

Life is changing for us these days. Nothing is safe! Things that used to be great spots are needing to be moved to higher, more appropriate places to be kept out of Joel's little hands. What often happens is that he reminds me of my need to move things AFTER he finds them. Below are some pictures of an amazing discovery this candy basket for piano lessons. Wow! Chocolate!

Joel now fits in his White Sox jersey from Rob & Stacy. Doesn't he just make you smile?! Go Sox!
This past weekend we also celebrated the 20th anniversary of our church, Grace Bible Church. Several events were a part of this celebration. We had a music concert by a group named This Hope, a 2 day Men's Conference with guest speaker Scott Ardavanis, and a special service and fellowship dinner on Sunday. It was a full week, but what a blessing to worship our Savior, Jesus Christ, be challenged by God's Word and enjoy the fellowship of other believers. We thank God for His faithfulness to our church!

One of the songs that This Hope sang was entitled "Break My Plans." This song is taken from the life of a Romanian Christian, Nicolae Modoveanu, who was persecuted and imprisoned for his faith in Christ. Each morning he would get alone with God for 2 hours to worship and learn of His Savior. Also, each morning in his prayers he would ask God to break his plans and make him more like Christ. I was listening to this song while driving this week. I found myself affirming the lyrics, yet as I thought of these words in my own life, I stiffened and balked at the thought of praying for God to break MY plans each day. After all, the majority of my day is to get "my" list accomplished, to have Joel behave as "I" feel best, to not be inconvenienced more than "I" feel necessary. I was completely ashamed and humbled to realize my selfishness, and lack of dependence on Christ. I was reminded afresh of the mercy and forgiveness found in Christ, and joy that comes in living out God's plan, even in the midst of persecution, which Nicolae experienced in far greater ways then I will ever know. May this song encourage you as well (click here for a link to a music video of this song).

The praise songs of a nation flowed from his hand.
And in a world of dark oppression he made a stand.
They told him to be silent, and lead him away.
Ten years was the sentence, a prisoner of faith.
As he waited for God's timing another winter chilled the air.
And when he thought of his own family was filled with despair.
So he cried out for justice, was there any other way.
But then he gave it all to Jesus, as he began to pray.

Break my plans, shape my heart.
Take my will to where you are.
Move my mind through Your word.
Till all that I am lives to love you, Lord.

I know I'm called to suffer and take up my cross.
But sometimes I grow so fearful when I count the cost.
Still my heart wants to follow, and walk in Your way.
To be counted with the faithful, Lord guide me today.

With all my heart, my strength and my soul I will love You, God.
So use my life and take complete control.

Break my plans, shape my heart.
Take my will to where you are.
Move my mind through Your word.
Till all that I am lives to love you, Lord.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Joel manages to turn anything into a chew toy...including our bed frame. :)
One afternoon he kept covering his head with his blanket. I would uncover it, then 5 minutes later it would be back over again. Must have been comfortable... :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Today we celebrated my brother Scott's 20th birthday with a family party at my parents. Well, his birthday is actually on Tuesday, but today is the day that worked to get everyone together. We had a special time...I'm so thankful to have such a great brother!

Joel enjoyed some fun time with his grandpa this afternoon.
Happy birthday Scott...we love you!
Joel eating his slice of watermelon at lunch. :)
This little man absolutely LOVES bathtime. Justin snapped a couple adorable photos of him this morning as he played in the bubbles!
I was at Trader Joes last night picking up some YUMMY grean beans (if you haven't ever had TJ grean beans, they are delicious!), and the check out man gave Joel his very own little balloon and attached it to his wrist. He was entranced during the ride home and for a good bit of time after we arrived home. He is discovering that life is so exciting. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Tooth

Here's some cute pics from the CA State Fair. It was a family tradition of my (Katelyn) family growing up which I absolutely LOVED! help us begin our own family memories, my parents gave us tickets for my birthday. We had a blast looking at all the animals and watching some of the shows. Joel stayed awake for the entire afternoon and evening, taking everything in.

"What is that funny looking thing, Dad?"
Our little family :)

our adorable little man!
Joel also cut his first tooth last week. After a couple days of mothering a VERY fussy baby, we rejoiced greatly to feel the little tooth break through! He's growing so fast! Below he is knawing on some frozen fruit.