September beginnings

We took advantage of the final days of the summer farmers markets around here as fall weather took over last month. Our children are continuing to grow in their friendship and it’s been so sweet to see them love each other so much at times as a sibling pair. They especially enjoy holding hands across the aisle in the car, giving each other hugs and kisses (most of the time), and sharing food with one another (mainly Timothy giving to Grace, though; she’s a big eater!) We continue to be excited about meeting baby girl, and are savoring how Timothy tells and shows us everyday how very thankful he is for another sister. The excitement and endearment has been passed on to Grace, too. It’s been such a joy to watch Timothy grow as a big brother.

A short visit from my older sister brought along some sweet time with Aunty Sophia for our kids and some nice sister time for me, too.  After our visitor, we jumped right into the full swing of school, Bible study, and a more consistent weekly routine.  I turned 30, and was struck by immense gratitude for the opportunity to be my little ones’ primary teacher, a part of the new Revelation study at BSF, and serve our local church. It was nice to reflect and look forward to all the Lord has for me this year and in this new decade, and am eager to learn more from others, especially older folks as I stumble along in so many different roles.

A bustling June

This is a rather late entry, but in addition to the heat and everything else that was going on, blogging and sorting through photos has definitely been on the back burner for us. In June we had quite a bit to celebrate with a birthday, anniversary and Father’s Day, we tried to bear the Seattle-area heat, and acclimated to life with busy little walking Grace. The children and I have started hitting up some of the area farmers markets, and continue to appreciate the abundance of parks we have the luxury of choosing from for weekly outings. Andrew and I celebrated 6 years of marriage over a nice brunch together and seeing some of what God has done in our life together. The following day, our children enjoyed showering him with cards and a framed canvas photo on Father’s Day. Perhaps next year, they can contain their eagerness and even let Papa sleep in past 7:30AM before heaping their gifts on him. 🙂

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.

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.