Sunday, January 28, 2007

Our Small Group

We are lucky to be a part of a Small Group (Bible study) that meets every Sunday night. We have been meeting with Brian & Teresa McCreary for years, and in the recent years, have been joined by James & Ann Siebert and Russ & Alison Lee. They have been an incredible source of support for our family and we are truly grateful for them. We all have young kids, and at times, it can be a challenge to work out babysitting and busy schedules... Most often, the adults meet at one home, and we have babysitters who watch the kids at another home. Tonight, we were all together- in the midst of adult conversation were kids running in, out, and through the living room with all kinds of toys! Still, it is always great to get-together. Here is Gracie with Melody Siebert and Caleb McCreary.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Gracie's Trim

Every few months, we have to face something that we both absolutely dread- trimming Gracie's bangs! Like we mentioned in a previous post, she doesn't like to sit still... Here are some things we've tried: letting her watch a movie (but then we get in her way), distracting her by letting her play at the table (but then she's always looking down); strapping her into her high chair (and she ends up trying to squirm her way out)... She would definitely wake up if we cut her hair while she was sleeping... It's such an ordeal.
Yesterday, some friends suggested that we give her a lollipop so that her focus would be on that. We're pretty much willing to try anything. Well, right before dinner today, we had her sit at the table and we both took turns with the scissors. It is so hard to get her bangs straight. We took so long that she ended up getting two lollipops! Anyway, for all the time and effort it took, maybe we should've trimmed more of it- it's going to grow back before we know it!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Smile, Gracie!

If you didn't know, our little Gracie is VERY active. It is rare that she is sitting still long enough for us to take a picture of her. As well, we don't know how it started, but she seems to have a thing against cameras. I 've been wanting to post some recent pictures of Gracie but it's been a lot harder than you think!

Maybe that's all changing! When I got out the camera today, instead of running away, she actually sat, posed, and "looked" at the camera! (She even smiled!) Yeah!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tribute to an Amazing Man, Our Dad: Ed Isaac

Dad's memorial service was held on Dec. 30 and was attended by over 300 people. Many people came from near and far. To be surrounded by so many people who care for us was comforting.

Jason's dad was truly an amazing man- we are including a link if you would like to listen to his eulogy, given by Jason and his sister, Jennifer, at the memorial service. They also worked all week on putting together a slide presentation that would tell the story of his life. We are including a link if you would like to watch it. The pictures are set to four songs, each representing different chapters in his life. Each link is a little over 11 minutes... We hope you will be inspired by our dad.

We miss him and love him so much.

Thank you so much...

We never would have imagined that Jason's dad would be "going home" for Christmas... After two weeks of being in the hospital, he passed away on Dec. 18. It has been an emotional time for our entire family. We are so grateful for the support we have received (and continue to receive)through prayers, cards, phone calls, meals, emails, flowers, and times people have watched Grace while we were in the hospital. It means so much to us to receive reminders that we are loved. Thank you so much...

Sunday, January 7, 2007

We've become "Loaners!"

Both of us have been reflecting on Pastor Loren's message in church today about reaching out and helping others. Today, Jason and I decided to become "loaners!" We watched a show on PBS months ago about "KIVA." We were both very intrigued by KIVA's premise. KIVA enables people to help entrepeneurs in a developing country by loaning them money so that they can either start a new business or expand their current business. By doing so, these people are able to improve their lives, and in many cases, their community as well. So many poor people living around the world do not have the resources it would take to change their lives, but they are very capable, active, highly motivated, and intelligent people. Given the opportunity, they could really make a difference! Banks and other institutions in their area can charge ridiculously high interest rates. People in the U.S. complain about 7%- in some developing countries, interest rates on loans can climb well above 25%! Entrepeneurs who receive loans through KIVA are not charged interest. They simply receive the resources they need to do what they need to do, and then they repay the loan. It'll take some time, but we are excited to see what will happen in these people's lives: Juana, Comfort, Siakou, & Kossi Mathieu. Isn't this such a unique way to "reach out and help others?"

Friday, January 5, 2007

A New Year, A New Blog

Every December when we sit down to write our "annual Christmas letter," we always find it difficult to summarize and condense an entire year's worth of memories into a single letter. For that reason, we have decided to start a family blog in an effort to try and keep everyone updated about the things that our family goes through on a regular basis. We're new to this, so be patient with us! Happy New Year!