Monday, December 19, 2011

Carry me...

My brother Mirike carried his bride Amber to his truck after they got married this last November.
Looking back on that photo it made me think... a lot.

Many times in our marriage we have to carry each other.

God designed it that way.
When I sprained my ankle at the beginning of this week, Loren, my groom had to carry me up 4 flights of stairs. Emotionally we carry each other through struggles. When my husband is overwhelmed- I pray I can carry him well. When I hit rock bottom, he is there for me.

I am so thankful that my husband carries me to Immanuel, God with us.
Through the unknown when we were raising support to come to Ecuador and had no home- He carried us.
Through tragedy when we lost our first baby, he carried us.
Through pain when we sinned against each other and Him, He was right there with open arms of forgiveness.
Through fears that financially we can't go on anymore- Immanuel provides for our needs.
When we don't have the strength to continue Immanuel, God with us, carries us both. Through joy of having our son, Immanuels strong arms wraps around us.

Have you recognized Immanuel in your life?
GOD is with YOU.
with YOU.

God devised a plan so that we who are estranged from Him can be lifted back into his arms like a groom carries his bride. Husband and wives- we are painting a picture to the world that screams glory to God or hatred to Him. May your marriage reflect the unconditional love God shows us.

Thank you Mirike and Amber for the sweet reminder.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

jogging around is dangerous

Stay at home mom- enjoying being able to serve my family when

high altitude breathing...
dodge poop...
up steps...
down hill...
huge hole...
up hill ("i think i can" book running in my head)...
planning my rout...
sure isn't bor------ twist

face plant.

know right away i cant stand up. 3 blocks from my house.

4th week of running after having baby and it felt so good. Got me out of the house alone, fresh air, and exercise.

Gave me such energy to clean my house, cook dinner, and plan events with people.

Now- I sit on our couch. Feed Zane-change his diaper-put him to bed. (right beside the couch because I can't walk with him anywhere).
Missing my 20 min morning run. Why did I twist my ankle... 3rd day still swollen and barely can put pressure on it.

Having to cancel going to Christmas events. NOOOO! All that delicious food and games...
Canceling meeting with the girls I mentor... NO! Lord- that is what I'm here for... right?!
What I found I could be accomplished in was taken from me just from one morning run.
Crawling to the about humbling.

I am so thankful for my Husband. He has been serving ME- the stay at home mom- while still working his job. He does his meetings and tasks during the day with many breaks to come check on how we are doing. He texts me regularly to see if I need anything. Cooks me breakfast in bed and dinner on the couch. Cleans our house, gives Zane a bath, gathers my snacks. I know I am causing him way more work than help right now. Yet he has reminded me of a few of my favorite recent found quotes.

"By walking away from a busy, accomplishment-oriented society into a quiet world of deep relationship, service, and home life, I will establish a far reaching legacy that extends throughout many generations" -Laura Booz

"Your loving touch, patient service, sacrifice of time today, this week, is not in vain. It is a service of worship to the One who laid down His own life in moments of time." -Sally Clarkson

God reminded me of this verse: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

16 Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Thank you Loren- for your example. The Holy Spirit is taking away what I could do 'on my own' and reminding me it's about serving HIM. Not getting things checked off my list.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Craft Mania- Easy Advent Calendar!

This year we are doing an advent calendar- and because I have limited time between feeding my 2 month old and household chores, it is a really simple one to make.

1. First I spray painted our cork board black

2. I bought a box of cute thank you cards

3. I came up with what we wanted to do each day

4. Wrote on sticky notes what we were going to do each day

5. Inserted the sticky notes inside the cute thank you cards

6. And Pinned them to my board! (that is ALL!)

The rest of the events we are doing that you do not see in the 'note' above are the following:

10: get a food basket ready for the building grounds keeper and his family

11: Watch a classic Christmas movie

12: Host a game night with a Christmas ugly sweater theme

13: Make apple cider and drink it by the tree while skyping with friends wishing them a merry Christmas

14: Volunteer at Pan de Vida (ministry giving bread to the poor) and take clothes to them

15: Make caramelized red and green popcorn

16: Attend the Alumni Christmas event at AAI

17: Make reindeer foot prints and finger prints- the idea came from Pinterest! (which by the way is one of my favorite places to look up fun crafts!)

18: Make and decorate Christmas cookies with our youth group

19: Give out free coffee and say Feliz Navidad in downtown Quito

20: Go look at Christmas light decorations

21: Video Skype with family wishing them a Merry Christmas

22: Make a marshmallow/corn flake green wreath with red hots as 'berries'

23: Wrap all Christmas presents

24: Bake a birthday cake for Jesus and go the the Christmas eve service at church

25: Eat red and green pancakes and celebrate Jesus by reading the Christmas story

Final Product!

I really enjoyed making this and next year I can just change the sticky notes to match our next year's schedule!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Capture this moment

Words cannot express how thankful I am to our neighbor and friend Carla! Because of her we have some precious baby photos of Zane!
Check out her blog:
She is so creative and I just love getting to spend time with her and her family. Plus I love to soak up her wisdom and be inspired by all her fun crafts!

So precious! Thank you CARLA!!! LOVE these photos!

Yesterday we went to the doctor for Zane's check up. Zane is only 5 weeks old and is already over 6 pounds now. He has also grown 5 centimeters. The doctor kept saying "Don't worry that he is not fat- he has grown so long it has distributed what would have been fat". We just smile and nod. I had to go in the other room when they gave him his HepB shot. It's so hard to knowingly watch him hurt.

This Tuesday I am flying to Texas for my brother Mirike's wedding!! I am super excited about going to the states, celebrating Mirike & Amber, and having Zane meet family. I am also nervous with flying for the first time with a baby. Loren won't be able to go (we can't afford it) so he will be here in Ecuador working on one of his seminary papers he has due soon. Zane and I will join back up with Loren in Ecuador for Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 4, 2011


When was the last time you stopped-

~to think and enjoy God?
~to spend time with your family- even if it wasn't 'productive'
~to read a good book that inspired you?

Life with a newborn has taught me a few lessons and Zane is only a little over a month old. I have realized how busy I was before he was born. Well- now with midnight feedings and midday feedings and feedings in between it has forced me to STOP. Every 2 and a half hours I STOP whatever I'm doing- even if it is sleeping to feed precious Zane. During this past month I have enjoyed getting to catch up on my reading, my time with God, and cuddle with my little boy.

I had about 6 books on my shelf (and on my kindle) I wanted to read but never 'had the time.' I have read 'Radical' by David Platt which was an excellent book about missions and how to radically change your life for God. I also just finished 'the Help' by Kathryn Stockett which was about racial segregation back in the '60's.

Do you notice that when a baby is in the room it seems like all eyes just STOP and watch the baby? It doesn't matter if the baby is sleeping or awake. It made me wonder about when our baby grows into a toddler, child, teenager, and grown man... will we sit and just spend TIME together? Will we STOP our busy productive lives and allow some staring *hopefully with some conversation. ;-)
I have truly enjoyed getting to spend this time with my son and my husband. We are learning how to balance life now with a person who needs us so much.
I have enjoyed watching Loren play, talk, and comfort Zane. Loren helps me with dirty diapers and he will take the screaming baby away for an hour so I can get some rest. He is a true gift from God and I am very much in love with him.

Most importantly do we STOP and listen to God? Do we give the God who created us the time of day? (that He designed!) I am learning that God is the source of my strength through this difficult phase in life. I have been thankful for having to STOP. Although its been hard, makes me sleepy, and somewhat depressing at times.

Please don't wait until you have a newborn (or have the excuse those years are long gone) to make you STOP. Enjoy every moment of life in the stage your in... even if it's difficult.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Birth Story Time with Zane Holland

Once upon a time on a Tuesday with the date being September 27th Alaina went in to see her doctor for her 39 week appointment. The doctor informed her with the technology of the ultra sound that her placenta had been 'calcifada' to use the Spanish term. Which means that the umbilical cord that was bringing Zane his nutrients was not going to be giving him food for much longer because of its maturity. The doctor said Zane needed to come out soon! Loren and Alaina got really excited that they would see their little boy out in the wild!

Their doctor promotes natural solutions first (that is why the Hollands like him so much). He said one thing they could try is taking a fourth of a pill of a certain hormone a woman’s body naturally produces when it goes into labor. The doctor said some women it will help start contractions while it doesn’t even effect other women. Alaina was wondering if would help her or not.

Alaina took this pill thursday morning. Around 8 am Alaina started having contractions that were painful. The contractions started at 2 minutes apart from the start. It threw Loren and Alaina for a slight surprise because they were suppose to go to the doctor when the contractions got down to 5 minutes apart for an hour. Well- they started at 2 minutes apart and with enough pain that Alaina could not walk while a contraction was happening at all. She was about to go walk around the park with Loren when she realized she couldn’t even walk around the house very well anymore. They decided to do some laps around the house instead.

At 9 am they were ready to head to the clinic because the contractions were still going strong every 2 minutes apart. Thankfully the clinic they were going to was not too far away although Alaina remembers there were way too many cars on the street for her liking.

When they reached the clinic the doctor told her she was already 2 centimeters dilated. They proceeded to a room where she could labor any way she wanted. Walk around, squat, sway, or lay down. Alaina was having contractions every minute and a half by now and she stood rocking back and forth while Loren rubbed her back. The clinic nurse brought her some tea and some message oil that Loren could use. Between contractions Alaina would sip her tea and walk around the room.

By 11:45 am the contractions were much stronger and Alaina asked Loren if he could go get the doctor because she was starting not to be able to stand the pain and the contractions were only 40 or so seconds apart and lasting a minute. The doctor came in and Alaina was worried he would say she was only 3 centimeters. But the doctor and everybody was really surprised when he said she was almost fully dilated (almost 10 cm)! They said they needed to get her into the birthing room.

The first thing Alaina noticed in the birthing room was how they started filling the tub with hot water incase Alaina decided to have Zane as a water birth. She was in so much pain she sat right on the birthing stool upon entering the room. This contraption is just what it sounds like, a stool made for birthing. Alaina really liked the birthing stool because she said it felt very natural with gravity helping the pushes.

The pain was intense and the doctor told Alaina that she could be holding her baby in the next three pushes if she pushed hard. Alaina pushed like crazy and sure enough baby Zane came out at 12:15pm! The whole labor process was only about 4 hours total! She was so relieved to be holding Zane finally in her arms!

Zane was 19.25 inches long. And weighed 5lbs 11oz. His birthday is September 29th, 2011. Zane means “God’s gracious gift” in Hebrew. His middle name Gregory is his daddy’s middle name. That first night he blessed his parents with a total of 4 hours of sleep straight! Thank you God that Zane is healthy!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August Weddings

Our friends Jessica and Daniel got married here in Ecuador! We were overjoyed getting to celebrate with them this life changing moment! They are missionaries here too and don't live too far away from us and we look forward to hanging out more. Daniel and Jessica did a special celebration that when they took communion they also served it to their wedding party. Announcing Husband and Wife! The beautiful bride and her groom! Our classmate from high school, also named Jess, got married here in Ecuador. (Loren and I are high school sweethearts). It was a blessing getting to see her and celebrate with her! She was stunning in her wedding dress! She married an MK from Kenya. I actually went to college with his cousin! What a small world it is! Two other ladies from our class were there -Laurie & Jamie- we hadn't seen either of them since we graduated 6 years ago. They looked beautiful like always and are both married now as well. 8 months pregnant and dancing at a lively wedding is definitely a sight to see! It was a joy to get to move like that although I realized its a different game when you're this pregnant! This last weekend we had our first Road Trip in our Ecua Car! Jungle here we come! We are so thankful we made it there and back with no car trouble. It was the last week I was allowed to travel- so we took advantage of it. Talking about weddings in August...We had the special privilege of spending the weekend with my parents as they celebrate their 30th Wedding anniversary the 22nd of August! About an hour from where they live in the jungle there is this beautiful place you can eat and look over the little town. It was a joy getting to be with them at this special time in their lives. My sister AJ who is 12 made this wonderful fold out card for my parents. She is so creative! We officially are in our new apartment now. What a blessing it is to have HOT water and water pressure! God has blessed us. ~~~FYI: Pray that with our old landlord we can cut off ties on a good note. She sent plumbers in (3 weeks too late) to put in a new shower head at our old place to 'fix' the problem so we wouldn't leave. We were already at our new place by then. Plus that wouldn't have fixed anything. Pray we can be honest but are able to balance that with kindness when we don't always feel like saying nice words.~~~ This is the panoramic view from our new balcony. As you can see we live right across from a park which is such a blessing when you live in a big city of almost 3 million people. We tried to get a photo with the mountain in the back- but the camera focused on us and didn't capture the mountain Cotopaxi which is the second highest summit in the country and 17 miles south of Quito. Mount Cotopaxi is the the fifth highest active volcano of the world and stands at 19,347 ft (5,897 m). Since 1738, Cotopaxi has erupted more than 50 times and is still active to this day. This is the view from our bedroom window. LOVE waking up to God's majesty in what he has created!