Simple Holiday

We celebrated Christmas with just our little family of 4 1/2. I was happy to not be traveling this holiday season, but it was nice to have some video chats and phone calls with family on Christmas day.January1001

In the month leading up to Christmas, we used a Jesse Tree to celebrate the first advent of Christ when He stooped to become human like us. Each night (or at least most nights) we would have the boys open a little paper box with chocolates and a paper ornament inside. On one side the ornament pictured a symbol, and on the other side was a scripture passage to read.January1002

It’s a festive way to teach our little men about the ancestral line of Christ, prophecies pointing towards Christ, and the story of redemption. Isaiah 11:1 refers to Jesus as being a “rod out of the stem of Jesse,” which is where the Jesse Tree gets its name.

After reading the scripture or telling the Bible story, Stephen would have one of the boys hang the ornament on our branch, and then we would sing O Come, O Come Emmanuel. January1003We love the longing of that song because it reminds us how we should hope for Christ’s return. Now—just as Israel anticipated the Messiah’s first coming—we can anticipate His second advent.January1004

Christmas morning began with hanging our final ornament on the Jesse Tree—the Star of Bethlehem. January1005Then the boys opened their presents while Grammy, Grampy and the uncles watched over video chat. January1006January1007Silas and Cooper are now equipped with just-their-size camp chairs for our next adventure, an indoor play tent, a grill, new pots and pans, a kid-sized broom set, a Lego/train table, and so much fun stuff!January1008January1009January1011January1012

Mommy and Daddy gave the boys a bunk bed, so Daddy spent the evening putting it together. Since our dudes are still so small, I wanted something low to the ground. Cooper’s mattress is on the floor—which works well since he periodically rolls out of bed anyway. Silas’ bunk is only about 4 feet high, so all four of us are adjusting to having two boys in the same room. They didn’t fall asleep until 11pm Christmas night!January1013

It’s easy at Christmas to be distracted from the reminder of hope that Christ’s incarnation brings. A simple holiday helped to prod my heart towards the truth—however feeble my steps of faith might be—that Christmas isn’t about me. It’s about God and His grace that reaches down to me.

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The Pepper

Cooper has learned to say his name, but it comes out more like “Pepper.” He’s been pretty possessive of his name. When we call him anything other than Cooper—or a variation of Cooper—he insists, “No, I Pepper!”December5001December5002

I’ll say, “Are you my treasure?”

“No, I Pepper!”

“You are a big boy.”

“No, I Pepper!”

One day Silas was telling Cooper that he was young. Of course it was very upsetting to Coop, who retorted, “No, I Pepper!”December5003

He’s also very possessive of his age. He can’t manage to put two fingers in the air, so he smashes his fingers together and holds up both hands to tell you that he’s 2.

Silas—the great life-thinker in our house—was trying to explain to Cooper that one day Cooper would be 4. It was very disconcerting to the little man who emphatically started saying, “2! 2!”

That little “Pepper” is just too chubby-cheeked for his own good!

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Merry & Bright

Our boys are into Christmas lights this year. Silas has recently learned who Frosty the Snowman is, so it’s exciting for him to see the blow-up snowmen as we drive through neighborhoods. Cooper will look out his car window and say, “Christmas! More Christmas!”December4004December4003

The other Saturday we drove over to Scottsdale to see a free light display at a private home. There were lights and decorations everywhere.December4005 December4008December4002Silas was thrilled with the “snow” that was really tiny soap bubbles falling down on us. He’s learned that it doesn’t snow in the desert, but when he saw snow on TV or in books, he said, “Mommy, it snows in THEIR desert!”December4001

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Our First 5K

We did it! Stephen and I finished our first 5K on Saturday. December2006The city of Buckeye was hosting a Boston qualifier marathon, a half marathon, 5K, and mile run.

My friend Jen suggested back in August that we all sign up to do the 5K together. Her in-laws were going to be in town, so we could race with the Horkavy clan. I invited our friend Connie to join us too. Of course, back when I started training, I didn’t realize I was pregnant, so that news did put a crimp in my hopes to run a lot of the race.

Early Tuesday mornings I would drive over to Connie’s house to walk/jog with her at 6am before Stephen left for work. I could hardly keep up with Connie! She walks every morning, so she’s in much better shape than I am.

My friend Kristy and I would also walk around our neighborhood twice a week in the evenings after our boys were in bed. The race was great motivation for me to get moving—and keep moving—even when I was feeling so nauseous and fatigued, but it was also great to spend time with friends as I exercised.imagejpeg950 (1)a

Saturday morning was a lot of fun. The weather forecast was calling for a lot of rain, but the rain came early, and we raced under a partially cloudy sky in the cool morning air.IMAG5511a

Ryan and his dad, Carl, ran the 5K with Stephen, and Jen, Katie, and the kids did the mile run. IMG_20141213_103004506aThe race was sponsored by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, so the race had special significance for the Horkavys. imagejpeg950 (2)aRyan’s youngest brother, Josiah, went home to be with Jesus this past July after a hard fought battle with cancer. Josiah had just turned 14. The Horkavys wore their “Josiah’s Journey” t-shirts in his memory.IMG_20141213_103003133a

Connie was my race partner. She and I jogged a bit at the beginning, the end, and on the downhill slope in the middle of the race. Other than that, we walked as fast as my little pregnant belly could go. imagejpeg950_2aThough we didn’t set any records, we finished the race, and won our medals!December2005

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A Thanksgiving Birthday

We’re thankful Cooper turned 2! December1005He shared his birthday with Thanksgiving this year. It’s kind of interesting that this was Cooper’s 2nd Thanksgiving. Since the holiday moves around on the calendar, he didn’t have a Thanksgiving during his first year of life. He was born a few days after Thanksgiving and then celebrated his 1st birthday before the next Thanksgiving. Maybe I’m the only one that finds that interesting, but there ya go.

Instead of making a big fuss, we chose to keep things simple this year—a necessity for this pregnant mommy. Our morning began with watching some of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

We invited some friends over who are like grandparents to the boys. They came early so Connie could help me with the meal prep. December1001Neither of our men wanted to eat turkey this year, so we had a spiral ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, rolls, and a cranberry salad. Simple is good.December1002

After lunch Cooper sat on his little baby bench to open his gifts. He’s a truck and car guy all the way, so that’s pretty much what he got. He loved them all!December1003

When it came time for the cake, he devoured his piece like nobody’s business. We adults indulged in some Hoosier sugar cream pie—Stephen’s favorite.December1004 {For the record, Silas was having a rough day. He took two—not one—but two voluntary naps, and he hardly ate a thing!}December1006

This was our first Thanksgiving at home in our 8 years of marriage. We’ve always gone to be with family or friends, so it was special to host our first holiday dinner.

God is always good, and His best gift is Himself. He’s been trying to teach me this past year and a half that He is enough for me. I am a stubborn student, so I’m especially thankful for friends like Connie who constantly point me to look to God and trust Him.

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Baby Moody #3

We are happy to announce that Baby Moody #3 is expected June 12, 2015! God is a gracious God to bless us with this third treasure.

november2001This picture is neither a gender announcement nor a name announcement, but it is the way I announced our baby to Stephen. This baby is yet another reminder of God’s grace. We’d love to have a baby girl, but a baby boy is more than welcome too!

I’m 11 weeks pregnant, and baby is doing well. I’ve been able to have two ultrasounds already and even saw the baby in 3D. Baby already has little arms and legs. When I showed the ultrasound picture to Silas, he said, “There’s the eye, and there’s the other eye, ... and there’s the hair. I see the hair. It’s a girl!”

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Someone Had a Birthday

Waking up on his 4th birthday, Silas asked, “Did my voice change?” He so badly wants to be a teenager! Apparently it’s the magic age where he’ll be allowed to do everything he’s ever dreamed of. november1003The next thing Silas wanted to do was to be measured on our giant growth ruler. He was convinced that when he turned 4 years old, he would be 4 feet tall. It was a disappointing start to his birthday. Cute little guy.november1002

Though his birthday was last Sunday, we celebrated Silas on Saturday with a small family celebration. Our friends, the Floreses, came over for lunch and brought pizza and salad. november1006november1007november1008Silas had picked out a Batman cake from the grocery store, and he wanted to wear a birthday hat too.november1005

He spent the rest of the day playing with his new toys and building Legos with Daddy. For supper, he picked Chick-fil-a, and we finished off the night with ice cream from “Old McDonald’s.”november1004

We spent his actual birthday, November 2nd, talking to family and telling them and Silas our special news—we’re expecting Baby Moody #3 on June 12th! It’s already so sweet to see Silas be a big brother to Cooper that I’m sure he’ll be precious with a new baby.november1009

Silas, you are such an imaginative, full-of-life little guy. Mommy and Daddy are so blessed to have you in our arms and in our hearts. Love you, little superhero!november1001

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True Woman Conference 2014

Rebekah and I checked one off our friendship bucket list—we attended a ladies’ Bible conference together, and it was worth it! A while ago I had suggested we attend a conference together, so when Rebekah saw that the True Woman conference in Indy was coming up, we bought our tickets a year in advance. october1006The plan had been for the boys and Stephen to visit his parents while Rebekah and I attended the conference. But, with the unexpected trip home in August for Grandma Moody’s funeral, only Cooper and I made the trip back.october1002

Cooper had a blast at Grammy and Grampy’s house. He could see cars and trains pass by out their front window, which thrilled him. Also, he loved the kitty, Pip, and Mom and Dad’s mini poodle, Pierre. Uncle Ben spoiled Cooper with some new cars, and the little man also got to hang with Uncle Jon, Uncle Jason, & Aunt Stephanie. october1010Mom said Cooper was perfect and didn’t cry for me. I love giving him time with his faraway family.

The True Woman Conference is a ministry of Revive Our Hearts—headed by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Going into the conference, I honestly didn’t know much about the True Woman movement or Nancy, but I was definitely impressed with Nancy’s balanced, gospel-centered, Biblical teaching.october1003

The first evening of the conference was especially nourishing to my bruised soul. Keith and Kristyn Getty led the worship. I couldn’t get over how many women were gathered in one place, worshiping Jesus Christ. There were over 8,500 women in attendance from 48 states and 5 countries.october1007

The theme of the conference was Finding Freedom, Fullness, and Fruitfulness in Christ, and the three keynote speakers I enjoyed were Joni Eareckson Tada, Mary Kassian, and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Joni—who has been wheel chair bound for 48 years due to quadriplegia—shared her testimony of praying for physical healing. Instead God chose to give her the spiritual healing of sanctifying her to be more like Christ. She said, “I’d rather be in this wheelchair with God, than walking without Him. And that’s worth living for.” Speaking from 2 Timothy 3:6-7, Mary’s challenge was about not being “weak-willed, wimpy women.” She exhorted us to be vigilant and to fight against sin that creeps into our lives. Nancy taught about God’s deliverance and steadfast love from Psalm 107—a psalm Rebekah had introduced to me this past year. I loved learning more about God’s faithfulness to rescue those who call to Him!october1004october1005

Rebekah and I had so much to share, and it was fun to spend a few days together. After the conference we walked along the Indy canal and ate a picnic lunch in the beautiful autumn weather. Friendship is one of God’s good gifts.october1008october1009

I was so thankful to have some special time with Rebekah and with the Moodys, but I loved being reunited with these two heartbreakers!october1011

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The other morning Silas wanted to sing me a song while “playing” the piano. Here is his rendition of Jesus Loves Me. Cooper joined in with the obligato on the chorus.YouTube Preview Image

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Sometimes it means “purple,” sometimes “red,” and sometimes it means whatever Cooper is wanting at the moment. september8008september8003Whether or not yellow is his favorite color, it’s definitely his favorite color to say. He loves looking out the window as we drive and telling us about the “yellow car.”september8005

In other Cooper news, he decided about a month ago that he would start potty training. He loves sitting on his baby potty so much that it’s hard to get him off! He’s doing a great job.september8006

Cooper likes to close his eyes to “hide” from people. When he gets embarrassed at church or the grocery store, he’ll close his eyes and smile coyly as if to say, “You can’t see me.”september8004

While he can’t yet jump, he loves to stand on the ottoman, put one leg out, and fall on the couch or on us. It’s kind of like jumping for him.september8007

Cooper plays with stuffed animals—something Silas has never been into. He carries them around the house, rolls with them on the floor, and calls them “baby.” I love that little guy’s voice! He’s adding new words and phrases.september8002

His progress seems to be more like a gradual incline, while Silas’s growth has always seemed to jump suddenly from plateau to plateau. But in terms of height, Cooper definitely has the edge on Silas. That little Cooper Andrew has grown 5 inches already this year, and he still has two more months before his birthday!september8001

Hope you have happy “yellow” dreams tonight, Coop.september8009

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