Fall Catch-Up 2

We had a very busy fall and it went by so quickly! (Check out Fall Catch-Up 1) We spent a lot of time at the park and outside and had lots of activities going on. I also started coaching a competitive gymnastics group 3 nights a week so we have had a packed schedule. We also had several visitors: the Witmers, Auntie Jess, Aunt Lindsay, and Aunt Megan. Fun!!! Here's a small highlight of some of the things we did. 

Made pumpkin shaped sugar cookies, with some dinosaurs and an airplane thrown in there too! :) 
Evie's first ride in the swing. How cute is she! She loved it. 
Our small group at church had a big bonfire hayride night. Here's Daddy and Evie warming up by the fire. 
Oh my. Love.
Our little fam on the hayride. 
Our dog Macy (left) and her cousin Sadie having a sleep-over. 
My cutie patoots posing at Stoneycreek Farm.
Running around and playing at the park with Mommy.
Looks like I'm having too much fun.
The lady at Stoneycreek Farm said I could go ahead and get on the huge jumping pillow with my son (even though we only paid for Mekonen to get on). I'm assuming she meant for me to jump WITH my son since he was the only child on it at the time. Instead, I got extremely distracted doing my own thing...
I'm pretty sure I might've had more fun than Mekonen and the lady seemed very annoyed. 


Fall Catch-Up 1

I am a bit behind on my blogging and am trying to get caught up! We had a fun-filled, busy fall season and are excited to bring it to a close for the upcoming holidays! 

A highlight of the fall season for us was a visit from our dear friends the Witmers who we were in Ethiopia with. We have such a sweet friendship and a special bond as we shared the beginning of our babies lives together. It is a BIG DEAL to us that they drove 9 hours to see us. We rarely have people make the drive to Indianapolis to visit us, and instead we are usually the ones making the drive to people instead. So when they announced a trip to Indy, we were stoked. I think we have found our family love language- time spent, quality time spent, when we aren't the only ones traveling umpteen amount of hours to do so! 

Mekonen loves his friend Sosi and talks of her often. He was so excited that she was sleeping over his house. We had such a great weekend. 

We visited an orchard, went apple picking and played around at the playground. These two are amazing. *LOVE*

We also went to a fall festival type thing with a big hay pile, rides, blow-up things, a pumpkin eating dinosaur, music, and other fall activities. I was trying to get Mekonen excited about jumping in the hay. He wanted nothing to do with it. (That face isn't a smile, it's straight annoyed). 

The Fab Witmer Family. 
Awww, me and my babe.

We went out for pizza and walked the canal to feed the ducks. Although we ended up not seeing one duck! But we still had a blast. 
The cutest bunch of happiness I have ever seen.
There are no words...

Oh we had such a good time. The weekend went by way too fast and we laughed till our sides hurt and tears were streaming down our face. There is nothing better than a much needed visit with friends!


My Boy

I haven't written a post strictly about my boy in awhile. Evie's been getting the baby monthly posts like 5 month, 6 months, etc. and I haven't documented on here all that's going on with Mekonen!
Well for starters, he is a riot. He is really coming into his personality these days and we are finding with the arrival of a sibling that Mekonen has taken the role of entertainer quite seriously. Most of his waking moments are dedicated to trying to get Evie's attention and make her laugh. He loves to run past her, back and forth, back and forth, yelling or making noises, or laughing... anything to get her to laugh back at him. I'm not sure what this says for his future, but I'm a tad concerned. ;)
Just like all toddlers, this child is a sponge!!! He hears and remembers everything, which can be a little scary at times (and an oh so great reminder to Mommy and Daddy that little ears really don't ever miss a beat!) So our little sponge loves, loves, loves music. He asks me to play his music several times a day and loves to sing! In addition to all his little kid music, we've been teaching Mekonen hymns because so many hymns are great teaching tools for theology. It only takes Mekonen hearing a hymn a few times before he has it down pat! So far he knows "All Creatures of our God and King," "Standing on the Promises of God," "Redeemed," and "Blessed Assurance." We finally got "Blessed Assurance" on video. it's not the greatest quality because it's on my friend's phone.                

Mekonen has done incredibly well adjusting to his baby sister. He is concerned about her, wants to know where she is, and wants to be the first one running into her room the minute she is awake. I love how he calls her "Eve." Now that Evie is more mobile she is getting into his toys, which he doesn't really like. He says, "No Eve" and takes the toy out of her hand and gives her another one. At least he replaces the toy he took right? :) haha. We're workin' on it!

He frequently tells me, "Mommy, I tect Eve." ("protect"). It's the cutest ever. I sure hope he continues that mindset as they get older!

Mekonen is LOVING to mimic and copy all the things I do. He loves to feed Elmo, burp Elmo, and put Elmo "nigh-nights." He even puts Elmo on his belly to sleep. haha. Mekonen likes to "help" and is really into doing all the things that Mommy and Daddy do.

He no longer calls himself Bobby but now always refers to himself as "Bonen" or "Ponen," however he is pronouncing it that day.  Mekonen has been cracking us up lately with all the phrases he says. He says, "Oh sure, that's fine." and "Actually..." He has been obsessed with the notion of the "sun being awake." When the sun is awake he is supposed to be up or going somewhere. He says things like, "you can get me a piece of candy if you want."

I found these little things I wrote down back in June but don't think I ever posted them. I want to remember them so I'm posting them late!

6/13/11 so i'm out in the backyard with Mekonen cleaning up dog poop so he can play. i turn around and Mekonen was grabbing fistfuls of dog poop and chucking them over the fence. "My helpin' Mommy." he said. ewwwwwwwww GROSS!!!

6/5/11 Mekonen's prayer tonight: "Thank you Jesus (pause) for Tow Mater, Lightnin' McQueen, Ebie, Daddy's job, and Daddy's work." and then he yelled, "Amen!!!! Mommy pray?" Then it was my turn. How do you follow that?

6/28/11 Lately you've gone back to calling me "Mama" and I have to say it is probably one of the dearest things you say. You are also wanting me to hold you, and are telling me, "I miss you Mommy" when I'm away from you (even the next room). You are being oh so generous with kisses and hugs. LOVE. Tonight, i went to check on you around midnight. You lifted your sleepy head, stretched out your arms and said, "Hold me." So I climbed into your bed, took you onto my lap, and held you. It felt so good to have you so close like that again when you are sleeping. Brought me back to the countless times I rocked you to sleep in your nursery. How I miss those baby days because it means you are growing up. It means that soon, you will too big to even hold. 


7 Months and Rockin' It

So this post is a little over a week late, but better late than never right? Miss Evangeline turned 7 months old on October 28th!!!

At 7 Months You Are:
  • Crawling everywhere!!! You actually started crawling two weeks after turning 6 months old and now you are a pro! We set you down, turn around, and you are clear across the room!
  • On October 11th you had your first taste of baby food! Yummy rice cereal. You had no idea what to think. But you did look pretty cute and stubby in that big highchair!

You are still nursing 4-5 times a day and we added in rice cereal once a day for a week, and then after a week went to twice a day for a week. After one week you actually started opening up your mouth when the spoon came near and boy are those lips to die for! I tried catching their little duck-bill on camera! On October 25th you had your first taste of veggies- butternut squash that Mommy made and pureed for you!

Oh the lips!!!! 

  • On October 16th you pulled yourself to standing for the first time in your crib. We were getting ready for church and I turned around and this is what I saw! Daddy had to lower the crib that day and it kind of made me a little bit sad. 
  • The happiest baby I have ever met- I'm not just saying this because she's my baby, but seriously, this kid smiles more than any baby I know. She is so content, so happy, and just loves, loves people and face and smiles, and anyone who will look her way. 
  • Discovering everything! This is probably one of my favorite stages- watching you discover toys and everything in your environment. I love how everything is exciting and so new. Oh if only we could see life as adults the way you do! Daddy wrote these two things on facebook in recent weeks. "Watching my baby discover things around the room. This is so amazing. Love." and, "One of the coolest things in life is watching a baby take a toy from your hand with gentle curiosity. #mybabygirl."

    I just love this look she gets on her face when she is playing with and discovering her toys.

  •  You have become quite attached to these two blankies and as soon as we hand them to you, you snuggle right in and get ready to sleep! 
  • You and Mekonen interact quite a bit, even though you can't even talk yet! He makes you laugh and laugh. He even tried giving you "underdogs" in your jonny jumper! Yikes!! 


What to Do About Halloween?

As a Christian family who seeks to live a Jesus-centered, Gospel-centered life, we are constantly needing to evaluate the culture we live in through the lens of the Bible and the thinking mind God gave us.

In light of what I've written below, as a family we have chosen to exercise our Biblical freedom (1 Corinthians 10:22-23), to wisely redeem cultural practices. We have fun with Halloween by dressing up and going trick or treating. We did wade through the trickier issues necessary such as ghosts, witches, and other scary, fear based costumes, along with the cultural obsession with the "dark, gruesome" side of life after death. That's a sensitive issue in my heart as heaven and hell are very real places and I feel our view and talk of them should be in a Biblical sense.

Halloween 2011
Evie Rae was a lobster, carried in a pot by Daddy playing a lobster man. And Mekonen was his latest obsession... Thomas the Tank Engine! All day before trick or treating, Mekonen kept asking, "Where's my Halloween?" (meaning his costume). haha. 

First stop, Grandma Magz and Boppy's house. 

Evie's pot fit perfectly in the stroller and her face is busting with joy. Makes me laugh every time I see it. 
Our little Thomas the Tank Engine. That smile could light up the world. 
And our happy, happy girl.
Halloween has long been debated in Christian circles as whether or not it's right or wrong to participate. This is an issue we have had to evaluate as we begin our journey in raising our children. However, it's not as simple, nor as black and white as some Christians like to make it. Yes, that would be easier because it would satisfy the "religious self" that we try so desperately to get rid of- the one that thinks being a Christian is simply following rules. Sure that would be "easier" and actually would give us a way to receive some praise for how "good we are being" and thus how "righteous" we are. But we are called to much more than that, and I am afraid that many Christians today just don't know how to think and would prefer that the Bible say specifically, "Thou shalt not trick or treat or be involved in Halloween." Since that hasn't been laid out for us we have some homework to do! 

1. Research the aspect of culture that you discussing, i.e. Halloween. 
It will take far too long to write the history of Halloween here, and it's not necessarily the point of this post. So in short, the holiday did, in some part, originate from pagan and mythical practices. But calling it "Satanic"can merely end up being a game of semantics. (What about Roman and Greek mythology, etc?) Maybe all these things are "satanic," maybe they aren't. Therefore, Christians need to exercise thoughtful discernment when coming to conclusions about such matters.

2. Reject, Receive, or Redeem, in this case, Halloween (This is similar to my post last year on what to do about Santa Clause. I like these 3 R's from a favorite pastor of ours in evaluating cultural issues).


  • A Christian named Pat Robertson called Halloween the "festival of the Devils" and said it was wrong for Christians to participate. But to reject it outright without answering this question, is foolish... "To what extent does something's evolution from pagan roots entail that its present practice is tainted?" Because today, there's been a huge shift in the original practices of Halloween, to kids dressed up in cute costumes for a sugar fest once a year. 
  • If you are going to outright reject Halloween are you consistent in rejecting other holidays completely as well? There are pagan practices rooted in most holidays as is excess, like too much candy on Halloween. So should we reject Thanksgiving too because some people eat too much and gluttony is a sin? 
  • Other Christians reject Halloween because they fear the "evil of the extrinsic world will taint the faith of a Christian. The idea is, 'garbage in, garbage out.' But Jesus says the exact opposite is true in Mark 7:21-23. The fruit of our lives (whether holiness or sin) is always inextricably tied to  the root of our hearts. Sin indeed corrupts but the sin is not so much 'out there in the world' as much as it is in the heart of every person. The reject position falsely assumes sin is mostly what we do rather than who we are. 
Receive and/or Redeem
  • If we have an informed understanding of the history of Halloween and realize that as a Christian we have the biblical freedom to redeem cultural practices (1 Corinthians 10:22-23), we believe that Christians should follow their conscience in choosing how to approach this holiday.
  • How one goes about which aspects of Halloween to redeem or receive is still a tricky issue. One suggestion is to distinguish between the cultural aspects of Halloween and the religious aspects of Halloween. "There is a big difference between kids dressing up in cute costumes for candy and Mardi-Gras-like Halloween parties, offensive costumes, and uninhibited excess."
  • "It's naive to make a blanket judgment to reject or receive Halloween as a whole. There should be no pressure to participate, but for those Christians whose conscience permits, we should view it as an opportunity to engage wisely with our culture."
(Many ideas were summarized from an article on the Resurgence blog by Justin Holcomb).