Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I'm taking a break from the usual business of our lives here to give you glimpse into what life at SPLICE missionary training has been like.

Imagine taking 39 future missionaries, complete with their 34 children (yes I'm not kidding!) and putting them to live together in a large house for 3 weeks. Make them eat 3 meals a day together and attend trainings together 8:00-4:00. Don't give them any TVs or internet (except in common areas). It's a bit like being at camp or in college, except everyone's grown up with kids. We have missionaries who are bound for Napal, Spain, Costa Rica, Japan, the Ukraine, South Africa, and many other places. We're all as different as can be, and yet the same. We have formed many lasting friendships.

Our trainings have been a bit like trying to drink water from a fire hose. Each day has been emotionally draining and heavy. We've leaned about paradoxes, resilience in adversity, how to exit one culture and enter another, signs of stress and stess management, conflict resolution styles, and and expectations vs. reality. And we are only half way through!

Chad and I are sharing a room with our two kiddos. I was very dissappointed when I found out that's how it would be, but it's turned out to kind of be a blessing. In the evenings when our kids go to bed at 7:30, we are forced to spend our time in the common area with a baby monitor. We have spent every night staying up late talking and playing games. It's a fun way to relieve the heaviness of our training sessions. 

Our instructors are amazing! Our main instructor has the uncanny ability to make his students come up with all the answers and conclusions. Our sessions have involved lots of tears. We also have small growth groups we meet with and a personal coach that meets with each family. 

So there it is! A glimpse into our life. We dread entering back into our "real world" and yet we can't wait. Another paradox! Friends and family: we miss you terribly. See you soon!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Graham is turning 3!

Graham doesn't turn 3 until Monday but we will be out of town so I'm posting a tad early. :)

WOW! I can't believe it. No really, I can't believe it. How can Graham be 3 years old already?!

I'll never forget this special day when this special boy was born on April 15, 2010. 9 pounds 15 ounces, 22 inches long. 

And here he is on his first birthday. Such a big, happy boy.

And here he is on his second birthday (he wasn't much into getting his picture taken that day).

Here are some things about Graham's third year:

*Note: There's a lot! I'm writing this down for myself and for Graham to be able to look at later. I understand it would probably be boring to other people. :)

He weighs 38 pounds and is 41.5 inches tall. Well above the 95th percentile, as usual!

He wears size 3T-4T clothes, size 6 diapers (we haven't tackled potty training again yet) and size 10-11 shoes. 

He stopped napping 2 months after Molly was born. :(

He goes to bed at 7:30 and sleeps 12 hours or more at night. He has to have his stuffed animals, car blanket, and noise maker. He is sleeping in a twin bed. 

He eats 3 meals a day and 1-2 snacks. Some of his favorite foods are: pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries (he likes salty, savory foods!), goldfish, cheese, pretzels, broccoli, asparagus, ham, apples, strawberries, and fish sticks. He will pretty much eat anything I give him with the notable exception of pasta. 

His speech has improved tremendously. He speaks in sentences that just get longer and longer. He is always learning new words! I love to hear all of his thoughts and ideas. Being able to communicate with him so well is just a joy!

Graham had speech therapy twice a month (we're done now!). We both love his speech therapist Lori. She comes to our house and Graham loves to play and read with her. She gives me lots of great tips on how to help Graham improve his speech. 

He has started going to school at Young Children's World, the mother's day out program at our church. He loves it!

Graham has some pretty special friends. He loves to see them and play with them at play group every week. 

He is a very active little boy. He can, and will, climb just about everything, he runs, jumps, walks backwards, turns summersaults, and can stand on his head (while leaning against a couch or chair). 

He became a big brother! Graham loves his "sissy" and is extremely sweet towards her. He even offered one day for Molly to sleep with his stuffed animals (his prized possessions!). 

He is a such a good helper. He is now old enough to help me with lots of things like cleaning up, dishes, setting the table, feeding the dog, etc.

Some of his favorite things are trucks (duh), trains, Mickey Mouse, Elmo, Thomas the Tank Engine, books, and being outside. 

WE LOVE OUR BOY SO MUCH! We are so incredibly proud of him. He is a blessing from above and we are enjoying every day we spend with him. Pics of birthday party to come!