Last days of 1 and 2

Back in May, Grace was on the verge of fully walking and we enjoyed the last weeks of having children ages one and two as Timothy geared up to turn three. With BSF and Cantonese Story Time ending till September, our weeks are more unplanned and spontaneous recently. We had some beautiful warm days and we continue to be thankful for a yard for the kids to play in, nearby splash pads, and great area parks. It was nice to have some extended family together as well when the Ma grandparents visited. Our children are playing creatively together more, and it’s been fun to watch them really enjoy each other at times.

A Sunny April

Appetites have been growing around here for outdoor fun, new foods, and lots of family time. Timothy is busy exploring and picking up new things, learning how to be a big brother with an increasingly opinionated little sister, and making our family laugh. Grace is standing a little bit more each day, super busy exploring, enjoying new foods, and babbling tons. Some days, I’m quite overtaken by my own selfishness, and the children’s forgiveness and graciousness help me to see how much I desperately need what I am trying to teach them. On a related note, our family also attended our first homeschooling/discipleship conference last month. While it was a bit daunting to take in so much information, it was quite nourishing for my soul to sit under the teachings of Pastor Voddie Baucham, Dr. Tedd & Margy Tripp, and Rachel Jankovic. We also had a fun visit from Andrew’s sister in April and even went to Bainbridge Island on a lovely day together. We enjoyed the ferry rides, beautiful beach, and great food. It’s neat to see our children enjoy their time with extended family and we look forward to more this year.

March Musings

It was a good month around here with the weather warming up, lots of weekly activities, and Spring upon us. Although some days still feel long with a toddler and baby keeping me on my toes (and knees for prayer and cleaning!), I’m impressed with how precious this time is while they’re still little, and how quickly it’s passing as they grow just a bit more each week. I’m thankful to be with them during the day to catch the sweet moments of sibling tenderness among the many teachable times. Andrew and I have been taking some opportunities for more one-on-one time with the children, and it’s been fun to enjoy those special times with us. Timothy often asks for our entire family to do everything together, but it’s also been great to hear him excitedly recount some of the outings he has with Andrew.

Grace is learning more words and showing avid interest in almost everything, especially new places and foods. Her newest words are “bye-bye”, “yes” (in both English and Cantonese), “baaa” (sheep sound), and “voom” (when playing with vehicles). She makes efforts to sign for more food, and to reach out for hugs now, too. She’s also a very fast crawler and cruiser now, getting into anything her little fingers can reach to shove into her mouth. Grace also enjoys cooking up (or just causing) a storm in their little play kitchen. Meanwhile, Timothy continues to insist on helping in the kitchen, trying veggies as I chop them, and especially likes making cookies with me. His imagination, humor, and communication is growing so much, and it’s especially cute to see how he likes making us laugh with his jokes. I also love he plays getting ready for work by filling his backpack with play food and jumping into the Cozy Coupe or waiting for the bus, just like Papa. We continue to enjoy hearing him “read” (memorized) large portions of or entire smaller books. Timothy is continuing to spell a lot, and at time it seems like he really knows how to read words, but then it’s evident he’s actually just recognizing familiar words and logos (like Costco!). He takes many opportunities throughout the day to smooch and hug his baby sister, sometimes even when she really doesn’t want it, though. He’s also pointing out in recent months that she’s not walking yet, and that he wants her get older and start doing it soon – funny! If she’s anything like him, it’ll be a few more months of waiting. I’m willing to hold off on that extra busyness anyway. 😉

We visited the cherry blossoms nearby at UW on a nice warm day and were glad to see Timothy and Grace enjoy themselves. Andrew and I hadn’t seen the blooms in years so it was nice to do a picnic dinner there, take some photos, and watch our little guy run happily around the Quad. Grace tried to eat some of the leaves and fallen blossoms, but that’s about par for the course these days with her exploration. 🙂 Our own fruit trees are blossoming well this year and we look forward to hopefully enjoying the fruit they bear later in the fall. Big brown snowshoe hares have also been appearing around our home lately, to our collective delight, especially since this is our first Spring without a bunny of our own to watch hop around outside.

Holy Week is upon us and it’s been so neat to see Timothy start to recount more of some parts of Jesus’ journey to the cross and the Resurrection. While he seems more obsessed with the little trinkets at this point, I still enjoy using our old set of Resurrection Eggs with him this year as we navigate his Bible together. As we look forward to joyously proclaiming the most important event in history, I’m eager for that hope to penetrate my heart since my due date for the baby we lost has come and gone recently. I’m amazed at how God is bringing comfort, truth and conviction through His word and people. Our heartaches aren’t for naught and they’re ultimately not even about us, which is surprisingly encouraging to my introspective and selfish soul. While I stumble along in learning to treasure Jesus, celebrating the journey to the cross has been especially meaningful this year. I pray that Easter means so much more than candy, baby animals, and cute pastel outfits for you, too! 🙂

Happy Easter!

Short and packed February

While adjusting back to the cold and wet PNW weather, I survived some days of solo parenting when Andrew went back to the Bay Area for the rest of his work trip at the beginning of February. We were very eager for him to come home and for Grampa King to arrive by the end of it, though!

With birthday parties and baby showers the first half of the month, we had some fun and busy weekends celebrating life. It’s been neat to see Timothy enjoy it so much when we host people in our home each week and on some weekends. thoroughly enjoyed taking in the Lunar New Year celebration nearby, along with two other lion dances locally to ring in Chinese new year. He continues to sway and stomp along to music performances with gusto. I appreciate the freshness of each holiday with little ones since we get to explain and introduce celebrations to them as they ask observe and ask questions. The children continue to enjoy Cantonese Story Time and BSF each week. Grace is still an enthusiastic participant at both activities and cooperates quite well. I love watching them both dance around enjoying music and look forward to making more music together as a family when they’re older, too.

Our sweet little girl turned one and we enjoyed celebrating her first year. She’s become quite vocal and eager, and continues to be interested in everything, especially what Timothy does. Grace is quite excited about playgrounds and parks, so we’re already looking forward to the summer with her when she’ll likely be walking. For now, she is a fast and very busy little cruiser. New words this month were “amen”, “milk” in Chinese and a faint breathy “hi”. She signs for “milk” and “more” now (although it looks like “all done”, which can be confusing). Her frequent babbling, waving, and clapping elicits some funny imitation from her brother, too. Grace loves crawling around brother’s bed and pretending to lay down with him before nap times. Playing chase up the stairs has become even more exciting as she’s gained speed lately. After many months of not seeming to care much about my whereabouts or attention during the day, Grace has become more clingy and needy. It’s both busier and sweeter, and I’m glad to know that my baby girl doesn’t only prefer her papa during the day.

Timothy is becoming quite the kitchen helper with peeling garlic, stirring ingredients, pushing blender buttons, inspecting produce, pouring ingredients, and taste-testing. I appreciate his eagerness to help even though the messiness is sometimes hard for me. He continues to love learning letters and numbers. His avid interest in Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, Noël Piper, Sandra Boynton and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom books has really helped with his English. We’re surprised to already hear him spelling words he sees and memorizing sounds that some letters make. Then there are also the many times when he mixes words and sounds up for his silly talk…sometimes seemingly regressing into babble. 😉 He is also translating a lot between Cantonese and English, sometimes seemingly for our benefit but probably mostly because he’s thinking out loud. It’s so interesting for me to watch him think through and find the vocabulary he wants to use to talk about what he sees, hears and interprets. I keep bumping up against my language limitations more often now and think that we’ll probably be speaking a lot more Chinglish around here in the months to come.

Our morning times when Grace naps are pretty special so I’m not sure what I’ll do when she permanently drops that morning nap. For now, I’m quite enjoying these times together. Our little man is still quite a mama’s boy and I relish his hugs, kisses and snuggles before he grows up much too quickly. I’ve been trying to be more organized with Timothy’s morning learning times during the week when we don’t have planned activities somewhere else. He thoroughly enjoys Play-Doh, our sensory bins, alphabet and number manipulatives, short videos, and lots of books and several Bibles. I need to let him draw and “write” more in the coming weeks, too so we can continue with numbers, letters, colors and shapes. He’s been on a kick of wanting two of many things (we have him eat two bites to finish meals when he wants to be done) because, as he says in Chinese, “I’m two!”. He’s been telling me that he really wants another little sister so he can have two of those, too. So precious… but my heart does ache a bit as I watch pregnant mamas anticipate their spring babies. We’re continuing to trust the Lord with that loss, and be thankful for this opportunity to lean on him in our weakness and hurt.

We hope it warms up more soon as Spring finally arrives, especially for those of you stuck in the snowy and frigid northeastern part of the continent. Thanks for keeping up with our 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.