Friday, 25 December 2015

Eight Christmases

Friday, 13 November 2015

Meet Ellie

We welcomed Mary Ellen Elikya Klug into our family this week. She was 8 lbs, 3 oz and 21 inches long. We are honored that she shares the name Mary with Amy's mother and grandmother, and with Jeff's mother and grandmother as well. Our Ellie also shares the name Ellen with Amy's grandmother and sister. The name Elikya is a congolese name which means "Hope" in lingala. We are so thankful for this new blessing.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

It Must Be Fall

Where's Tommy?

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Lightsabers (and baseball too)

I was looking at some old photos with the boys over the weekend and we came across the pictures in this post from 2012. Tommy and Nic got a kick out of how young each of them looked as well as the comically fake photoshopped lightsabers. Kenny's response was an immediate "where is MY lightsaber?!" I told him that he hadn't been born yet when I made those pictures, but that I could make one of him with a lightsaber too at some point. So without further ado:

Kenny with lightsaber

While I was at it, I went ahead and gave Tommy and Nic new lightsaber pictures from the same event as Kenny's: Star Wars Night this past spring at our local minor league baseball park. That was a lot of fun. After all, it's not everyday you get to see Boba Fett throw the first pitch.

Nic is way more excited than Kenny to meet Darth Vader

Tommy feels like he could take on the whole empire himself

Boba Fett? Boba Fett? Where?

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Road Trip 2015, Day One

In truth, the first day of our road trip was really spent driving these small country roads on a weird route (thanks Google!) with some pretty crazy detours that left us wondering if we would ever come out of the cornfields alive. So, we decided to start with our first day of being touristy. While our ultimate destination for this trip was Kentucky, to visit with Jeff's extended family, we stopped off at some Lincoln sites in southern Indiana first. The highlight of this day was the Lincoln Boyhood National Park. It had a nice museum, and a great recreated homestead staffed with people dressed in period clothing to tell you more about how the Lincolns lived. The boys earned their first "Junior Ranger" badge of the trip, and these "police badges" became a bit of an obsession for them. The things the kids liked best about this visit were using woodworking tools like those Lincoln and his father used, and feeding the cows.

The next stop was a reconstructed grist mill at the location where the Lincoln's brought their corn to be ground. It was a rainy afternoon, and we were the only ones in the mill, so we got a lot of attention from the man in charge. He really impressed Tommy, and allowed Tommy to operate the mill with him, which was a special privilege that Tommy continues to talk about. He may have declared that he plans to grow up to run a grist mill...and we had to inform him that grist mill ownership is no longer an available career path (so back to his equally realistic goal of playing in the NFL). We have the bag of cornmeal that Tommy ground in our fridge, and one of these days I will get around to making him some cornbread with "his" cornmeal.

Say you are in Rockport, IN, and you think to yourself, "I should go to Lincoln Pioneer Village because it was a WPA project recreating the village Lincoln lived in and it must be really interesting and worth the relatively high price of admission." Let me tell you that you really should not. It was sorely disappointing. The museum is a bunch of stuff crowded in cabinets, and with the exception of a piece of furniture made by Thomas Lincoln, there is not much worth seeing. Out back there are an impressive number of cabins, but most of them are just empty or locked up buildings, and the "early transportation museum" is just a bunch of falling apart wagons in a musty barn. The only saving grace of this pioneer village was that Nicolas loved it. No one knows why, but he thought it was really fun, and he did not want to leave...even though everyone else really really did.

Our last stop of the day was the site from which Lincoln left on his first trip down the Mississippi. It only took a few minutes to stop at the spot, and the kids had fun climbing on the signs, and also thinking about standing in the very same spot as Abraham Lincoln.

Monday, 6 July 2015


It has been so long since I have sat down and written; I admit I feel a little rusty. We have some big news that I am compelled to write about - a new addition.

Meet the littlest member of our family. SHE is due to arrive November 20th.

I am a little over twenty weeks along. We decided to try things differently this time and keep the news quiet until we had more information from the doctor. Because we have moved since my pregnancy with Kenny, I am seeing a whole new team of OBs and specialists, and the current specialist has been very cautious with his diagnostic opinions. We had hoped to have a good idea about how the baby was doing at 16 weeks, but he was not able to give us a definitive answer at that time. Today (after an hour and a half of diagnostic ultrasound stress), he pronounced this little one healthy. We are very thankful that God blessed us with this new life, and grateful that we will have the opportunity to raise this daughter.

This pregnancy has been a unique experience. I have been feeling much worse physically than I did with Kenny, and more nauseous/ hormonal than I did with Leah, but also much less tired (that pregnancy was very physically draining even before we knew anything was wrong). I have been dealing with anxiety, mostly in the week leading up to my various ultrasounds, but nothing like I did with Kenny. I think it helped not talking about it as much, and it also helped that we were not expecting this particular bit of news (you know you were wondering), and going into this pregnancy without the pressing desire for another baby right at that particular moment did make it easier too as we waited and wondered what would happen. Some days I feel like God is playing a joke on me (and since the ending appears to be happy, it is a funny one), as we decided last year not to pursue pregnancy again, and I gave my sister my maternity clothes when I saw her over Christmas, told my friends I was done with pregnancy, and tossed out my nursing bras...then just a few months later found out things were not going to go according to that plan. I should have learned by now not to make plans, because things never seem to go the way I intend. I'm okay with that right now.

It probably goes without saying, but I am thrilled to be having a girl. I screamed in the poor nurse's ear when she called to tell me. It was so loud I had to apologize, and then guiltily explain that I would have been happy for a boy too, but, well, I already had three. Expect this poor child to be swathed in pink and bows and glitter and tulle. I am so done with blue. The little boys are less thrilled. Tommy and Kenny continue to hold out hope that it might be a boy (despite DNA testing and repeat ultrasounds), while Nic is usually happy about it, as he was rooting for a girl about half of the time.

We would appreciate your prayers for the continued health and growth of our sweet little girl, and my anxiety in that regard, especially when I reach the late third trimester. Although she did not inherit SRPS, we are more acutely aware of everything that can go wrong from here on out. I suppose that is the downside of attending pregnancy loss support groups - you really learn too much. Although I think that once you have been the one in the "only one in ten thousand" statistic, you never feel entirely comfortable with pregnancy (or any statistics designed to make you feel better). Therefore, I can use all the prayer I can get.

If you would have told me seven years ago, when I despaired of ever having a child, that today I would be raising three crazy, adorable boys and be pregnant with another little girl, I don't think I would have believed it. It was very healing to visit Leah's grave this year, pregnant with this little one and hopeful that we would finally have a chance to watch a little girl grow up. I am repeatedly amazed as I watch God continue to build beautiful things out of our pile of ashes.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Seven Years