Saturday, March 8, 2014

And then there were... 5!!

We came to Charleston for Paul's one-year fellowship with no knowledge of where we would settle after the year was over and that we would be leaving Charleston with me being 8 (+) months pregnant!

Even though we were as surprised as we could be about this pregnancy, we have only been excited.  We give glory to the Creator of all things who has, in His infinite wisdom, decided to bless us with another child.

My OB is the best ever and has let me take a peek at the baby at every single appointment.  So Paul and I actually discovered the gender at 14 weeks gestation, but we wanted to keep it a secret until we received the official news at my anatomy ultrasound yesterday!  We are most grateful for the good news that this little one appears to be healthy as far as we can tell.

Here are the big brothers sharing the news about baby Tennant #3:


Here's a view of the baby's profile:

(Profile is the right half of the picture; belly is the left half of the picture).

We enjoyed celebrating over pizza last night (thanks to my parents for the gift card!):

That's right- Cici's Pizza.  We're not ashamed.  Buffets + pregnancy = always a good thing.  And feeding 4 for $12 isn't bad either.

I never knew how much fun little boys could be, and I love that they seem to be taking over our family!  We look forward to welcoming this little guy in mid-July, Lord-willing!  Let the chaos... continue!  We thank the Sustainer of life for knitting this one together.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"What Christmas Songs Mean to Me

There have only been two posts on this blog that have resulted from a sense of compulsion to sit down an write out my thoughts.  One was this post about Diane Schreiner when she had her bike accident.  The other post, for whatever reason, is this one.

When I became a Christian back in 1997, I knew very little about the Bible.  Since I'm from Tennessee, the heart of the Bible belt, and since my parents had my brothers and me in church fairly regularly, I'd heard the gospel message on countless occasions. But whatever little knowledge I did have about Christ, I had no experience behind it.  I may have been able to recite the gospel message, but nothing about that message ever compelled me…

Until, sitting alone in a pew, I heard it at a church camp.  I don't remember the exact words that the youth pastor shared.  But through his message, the Lord opened my eyes to three truths: 1) I was created for a purpose; 2) That purpose was to know God; and 3) Jesus was the way for me to know God.  Every atom in my body said, "Yes!" to this message, and I remember experiencing an indescribable joy when I placed my faith in what Christ had done.  It wasn't a purely sentimental decision; it was an irresistible one.  And though sentiment is not what we Christians rely on, nothing has (or will) fulfilled me like Christ has and does.  Not my husband.  Not my children.

I love the fact that Jesus saved me without knowing much about Him.  I love that He called me with such ignorance of his majesty, purity, and holiness, knowing that He would build on that knowledge in my years to come.  What mattered most was that I knew and believed the glorious, but basic gospel message. 

And one of the ways He built upon that basic gospel knowledge was through a familiar Christmas carol.  I think it was the Christmas of 1998 that I heard the timeless, "O Holy Night," and the Lord opened my eyes again to behold the incredible truths within that song:

"Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn'.
Fall on your knees!"

I will never forget sitting in my room and listening to this song, and though I had heard this song throughout my entire life, the gospel truth of this message warmed my heart.  I've never been able to listen to that song without beholding the truth that He has appeared, and my soul has felt its worth.

Now that my oldest is able to listen to song lyrics, we have Christmas music playing whenever we're home.  That's pretty often, considering I stay at home with my little ones.  I catch myself tearing up throughout the day as I listen to these gospel-saturated songs, and though the tears are largely due to the fact that I'm pregnant, I think they're also a result of a God-given desire to behold the beauty of Christ.  And I think that's really why most people feel such strong emotions about Christmas songs: they prick our hearts and reveal a desire to welcome and behold the Creator who came to dwell with us.  

I'm so grateful that He who began a good work in me will carry it to completion at the day of His coming (Philippians 1:6), and I cherish every occasion that God deepens my gratitude for what He has done, especially as I worship Him in beautifully written Christmas songs.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Celebrating Caleb Roy...

We had the privilege of having good friends in town on Caleb's birthday, so the birthday plan was to go out to eat, look at Christmas lights, and come home to eat Caleb's birthday cake.  We made it through dinner, but on the way to look at Christmas lights, both boys fell asleep!  Matt and Anna Damico can tell you how that trip ended (Let's just say we proved to these expecting friends the truth of the slogan, "Never wake a sleeping baby!"), so instead we celebrated his birthday as a family the following night. 

Here are some pictures of our little family celebration:

Thank you, Harris Teeter, for this free smash cake!

The Before Picture:

 And the After Picture:

Somebody likes chocolate.

Here he is in action:


Happy Birthday, C-Man!  We love you so much!

Caleb the 1-Year-Old!

Our sweet little Caleb turned one year old on November 29!  The memory of his birthday remains vivid in my mind, and it's hard to believe that we're now calling him our "one-year-old."  

By God's grace, I was not nervous about having 2 children 15 months apart; instead, I was very excited at the thought of having two little ones grow up together so close in age.  I did hope, however, that Caleb's first year would be as smooth as was Luke's, who was a relatively happy little one.  I never would have imagined how enjoyable that transition could be, though, and I attribute that to Caleb's laid back and pleasant personality.  

If there is one word that I'd choose to describe Caleb's first year, it is the word easy.  From pregnancy to delivery to sleep to play time to eating, Caleb has been so easy and cheerful! A few examples of his cheerfulness include how patient he is with his brother who likes to climb all over him; how he consistently stretches out his hand to give us a high five when we say "no" to him as he crawls towards dangerous areas in the house; and how he kicks his legs with excitement when he sees his daddy walk in the door from work. Caleb exemplifies the truth that "A joyful heart is good medicine," Proverbs 17:22.  

Here are pictures of our jolly little guy, month by month:

Caleb's Birthday:

 Caleb, 1 Month:

Caleb, 2 Months:

Caleb, 3 Months:

 Caleb, 4 Months:

Caleb, 5 Months:

Caleb, 6 Months:

Caleb, 7 Months:

Caleb, 8 Months:

Caleb, 9 Months:

Caleb, 10 Months:

Caleb, 11 Months:

Caleb, the Birthday Boy:

 What a joy you bring to our family, Caleb!  May you come to "follow God fully," like your biblical namesake.  We love you so much!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sweeter than Candy!

One of the previous posts included "firsts" that our boys have experienced since we've been in Charleston.  Topping that list for Luke is now trick-or-treating!  But the joy that came from that experience deserved its own post.  

We started the day visiting Daddy at work!  One of my friends whose husband is an ENT resident organized a Halloween parade on the ENT floor, and all of the sweet administrative assistants who work in the ENT office passed out candy to the kids.  The kids looked adorable in their costumes, but what might have been even more precious was to see the pride that every single dad took in their little ones.  

After the parade we went trick-or-treating in our friends' neighborhood, and it only took visiting one house for Luke to figure out how to say "twick-or-tweet?" and how to grab as much candy as is humanly possible for a 2-year-old. 

The cutest tootsie roll and the most irresistible hot dog I've ever seen!  Here the boys are on their way to Daddy's work.

They didn't immediately understand why I placed these pumpkins in their hands.  It took one drop of candy in those baskets for Luke to get the hang of it!

This is just me showing off Caleb's cuteness.

Here is one proud Daddy!

After the parade at Daddy's work, we went trick-or-treating with some of our friends:

Luke had no idea what was in store for him this night.  

He later proved that it is possible to sprint in this seemingly restricting outfit. 

Keeping with tradition, here is C-Man sporting the same outfit that his daddy wore 30 years ago and that Luke wore last year.

And the highlight of this post:  here is Luke dancing to the "tootsie roll" (think mid-90's).  In his tootsie roll costume.  We plan on keeping these videos for years and years!!