Friday, April 29, 2011


Our busy Holy Saturday was followed by an even busier Easter Sunday! We got all spruced up for the 7:30am Mass. It was a wonderful celebration of Christ's Resurrection and Father Lappe's Homily was great!

We came home and told John that there was something special hidden for him. He found his Easter basket in the net of his new basketball hoop! He was very excited about it, even though he is not smiling in the pictures...

We changed clothes and loaded up my parents' car. Then we drove to Edmonds for our annual Launceford family brunch at the Pancake Haus (a tradition that has going for over 15 years!). We forgot John's bib at home, so it was a challenge keeping him clean while eating pancakes smothered in strawberries and whipped cream! Then we all headed to my Aunt and Uncle's house for more visiting and an egg hunt for John. The big kids hid the eggs for him and we all enjoyed watching John's innocent pleasure and excitement in finding the eggs.

After that we headed up to my other Aunt and Uncle's house in Mukilteo (on my dad's side of the family). John fell asleep right as we got there, so we left him in the car to finish his nap (that we were worried would never happen!). We had a nice visit with them and John woke up eventually and got to play with his 2nd cousin, Alice.

The next stop was at my brother's house in Seattle for dinner. On our way down I-5, a couple miles before our exit, I looked over to the car next to us and thought the driver looked familiar. He was looking at me too and I quickly realized that he was Father Qui-Thac - the priest who celebrated our wedding! Andrew called him and invited him to join us for dinner. He was on his way to Lacey for a retreat and accepted our offer! =) So we had a great dinner with our family, Fr. Qui-Thac, and our friend Andrew, who lives with my brother. We are still so amazed that we noticed Father on the freeway, and just in time to invite him for dinner! It was Divinely arranged! And thank you to Aaron for cooking a great meal!

We had such a great visit over dinner that we lost track of time and didn't leave until 9:30pm - which means John had another late night. But other than that, I thought our Easter was perfect!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday happened to land on my mom's birthday! We had a very busy but special day! I started the day out by getting a much-needed haircut. Then we all went with John to a public Easter egg hunt at a city park. We were about 15 minutes late and pretty much all the eggs were found already! We went up to one of the coordinators and she graciously gave us a few handfuls of candy and some empty plastic eggs so we could do our own little hunt for John. Grandma and Grandpa played with John on the playground while Andrew and I stuffed and hid some eggs in the woods. John caught on quickly and found all the eggs! It was very cute watching him! After he found an egg he wanted to open it right away and eat the candy inside - which he calls "cookie."

The egg hunt was followed by a nap for John, while I went out with my parents for some birthday shopping. When we got home, we painted eggs (aka - the contestants for "Egg Wars 2011").

Then we went out to dinner at Applebees. It was a full day and little Johnny didn't get to bed until about 10pm - usually he is in bed around 8pm. And since we had to go to the 7:30am Mass in the morning, that made the 6:30am wake-up call pretty difficult!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Palm Sunday Weekend

We went up to Bellingham and enjoyed a wonderful family gathering. We arrived on Friday and left on Sunday night, so we had a nice long weekend up there. The weather was pretty nice and we got to take John to the park two days in a row!

On Saturday we had a family party and enjoyed the company of some extended family that we don't get to see that often. John really enjoyed playing with his second cousin, Sydney. She is eight years old, and John just adores her! She gave him her old basketball hoop, which he really loves! Even now that two weeks have passed, he still talks about her every day. The conversation is very predictable - this is how it goes:

John: Sydney?
Me: Did you get to play with your cousin Sydney?
John: Fun?
Me: Did you have a lot of fun with her?
John: Go?
Me: She had to go to her home.
John: Basket?
Me: She is so nice, she gave you her basketball hoop!
John: Home.
Me: And you got to bring it home with you!

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Another Sunny Day

Fortunately the people seem to be wrong about their predictions of rain... so far! We have had two beautiful days in a row; although yesterday was rather cold and windy. Today John and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and go to the park down the street. We had a lot of fun there and then I decided we had enough time to journey a few blocks down to the water front. It was perfect timing because we got to see the ferry coming and going while we were there! We even saw a sea lion! Too bad I didn't get a good picture of it. =( There was an older boy at the beach who was throwing rocks in the water - one of John's favorite things to do! So John was huge fan of him right away. I loved how he watched him and tried to imitate him. So cute!

The Wonderful World of John

John loves to play. When he first wakes up he usually comes over to my side of the bed and tries to pull the covers off - saying, "play? play?" I'm not the best playmate at 7 in the morning, but once I am fully awake, I truly love entering into John's world of Playtime. He has so much imagination and I love getting to act like a kid again.

Lately, my playtime alter-ego is George the monkey:

John demands that I act as George for most of playtime. It was really fun at first, but this gig has been going on for a couple of months, so it can get a little old... After a day of play, it's nice to be just me again. John loves George, so I usually comply when he runs to me lifting George high in the air saying, "Dorge, Dorge!"

Here are some things John likes to do with George:

George will stack the blocks

John knocks them over

George cries

John makes him feel all better!
I caught John "fixing" George's eyes the other day with his power drill. After I dismissed the grotesque image of him actually taking a power drill to someones eye - I thought it was rather... compassionate?

George is also a great friend to have on a rainy day!

This kid sure needs a sibling to play with!! =)

In this video, you'll see me trying to get John to color for the camera. You'll also see how he does not do what I ask him to do - but the moment George asks him the same request, he does it immediately!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Playdate at the Park

Yesterday we had a very nice morning playing at Evergreen park with our friends - Lauren, Elena, and Madeleine. It has been so rainy lately and John and I have been so sick of staying indoors! I checked and apparently yesterday was the only nice day for another week or so (bummer! I hope the weather people are wrong). So we took advantage of the sun and had some good times! We played on the playground, went on the floating dock, threw rocks in the water, chased birds and squirrels, and we even got an ice cream cone! I'm looking forward to many days like this!

Making a new friend. She gave him the stick, so he was happy!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Truest Demonstration of Faith

 Thy Will Be Done

There was an article that I read a couple of days ago in a newsletter that Samaritan Ministries (our health care) puts out every month. The story is about a man and his family who are part of our health sharing ministry. It was so moving that I had to share it with you! I cried a lot when I read it and John was so confused. I tried to explain to him that the words were sad, but he didn't get it. He kept wiping my tears.

Here is the beginning of the story, I really recommend reading the whole thing:
As I ran up to him, the first thing I noticed was the Bible. It was small, a pocket-sized book, in black leather. It had apparently been knocked out of his clothing when the car hit him, and had landed beside him in the snow, down off the shoulder of the road.
That was yesterday, a few minutes after 7 in the morning. It was frigid and there was accumulation and black ice and two cars had slid off the busy Interstate. He had stopped and gotten out to help. He had been on the way to work, with his son, and he saw the motorists who needed help and he stopped. Countless others of us drove on by. But he stopped... (Read the rest here)
 What really struck me was the description of the wife's prayer for her husband:
Then she knelt and began to pray.
She may have held his hand, she may have leaned in toward his head. As she spoke, I cast my eyes down and reverently listened. She addressed God. Whether she called him “Dear Lord” or “Heavenly Father” or something else, I can’t recall. But she addressed him, and then she thanked him. And she offered him praise. Her words were not words of pleading, they were words of praise and gratitude. And then she said something like, “If today you wish to call him home and take him from us – thy will be done.”
Thy will be done.
The line from the Lord’s Prayer. The hardest part of faith. At a moment when most of us would be begging God to give us what we want – to spare us our loved one – she asked the Lord to do his will, what he wanted. She trusted him, and had faith in him.
Where could there be a truer test or demonstration of faith than in the snow beside the broken and near lifeless body of your sweetheart and spouse? In that situation, there can be no pretense, no show, only the heartfelt honesty of a soul in direct communion with its Creator.
And in her moment of test, in her own Gethsemane, she literally prayed, like her Savior before her, not my will, but thine, be done.
But if it was not his time to die, if the Lord did not want to call him home, she asked for his life, for her and their children, and strength through the weeks of hospitalization and recovery.
After I read that part, I felt silly for crying. Here I am - a stranger - and I was crying as if this were my own husband. While she had the strength and conviction to ask for God's will to be done and that this whole situation add to the glory of God. I really hope and pray that God will give me the grace to act the same way when I face trials in my own life. This made me realize how much I have to learn about real sacrificial love.

When I read this portion of the story to Andrew he commented on how she was acting like Mary, our Blessed Mother, did during Christ's passion and death. Surely it was very heart-wrenching to watch her Son suffer so, but she knew it was for the glory of God and she desired to be submissive to His will.

This wife and mother is such a great example for me and I will always remember her story. If you didn't have a chance to read the whole story, her husband did die - and now she is a widow with eight children to care for. May Our Lord give her the strength and joy she needs to persevere in this life and be reunited with her beloved in Heaven.

Friday, April 1, 2011

7 Quick Takes ~ Vol. 22

1. I had my first doctor's appointment on Wednesday. Everything went well and I got to hear Baby's heartbeat! Today I was looking back at our blog from when I was pregnant with John. It's neat to compare my experience and I am thankful that I kept a record.

2. Poor John keeps getting any cold he comes in contact with. He has a cold right now and today he felt horrible. I could tell by the way his eyes were red and squinty and his nose was draining all day - not to mention his terrible cough! At one point he was snuggled on the couch watching Blues Clues and I was cleaning up the kitchen. I hear his little voice "Hi. Hi. Hi..." I figured something must be up, so I went and checked on him. The poor guy had snot all down his lips and chin, yet he was politely trying to get my attention! We hope he feels better very soon!

3. I've had a few bouts of nausea with this pregnancy. But I saw the sliver lining today when John threw up in the kitchen, I took him right to the toilet and he knew to finish throwing up there because he has seen me do it a few times. So I guess I've been a good example for him...

4. Last week I made one of our favorite Indian dishes, Tikka Masala. I serve it over basmati rice (seasoned with salt and turmeric), and with Naan (Indian bread). I've experimented a lot with different Naan recipes - and I've been very unhappy with the results. It never turns out quite like they serve it at restaurants. So just for fun I experimented in a lazy way this time. I defrosted Rhodes Dinner Rolls as directed but then to bake them, I rolled them flat, broiled them in the oven on high on each side, and brushed melted butter and garlic salt on them. Surprisingly, they turned out amazing!!! They were light, fluffy, and bubbly - just like in the Indian restaurants we've been to. To top it off, while we were eating Andrew looked at me and said "This is a five!" Those four words meant so much to me. As I've mentioned before, we have a five star rating system (1-hate it 2-it was OK 3-it was good 4-it was great 5-it was amazing!). Fives are very hard to come by! So basically it's like he said "You're the best cook ever!" I was beaming for the rest of the night!

5. One of John's favorite things to do is blow kisses - not necessarily to be affectionate, more to be funny. It all started when we taught him to blow kisses at bed time. When he got the hang of it we made a joke by pretending to be blown away by his kiss. We would stumble backward and say "Woah!" This would get a great laugh out of him! But now he does it all. the. time. Which is fine, but some days I think I am going to get whip lash from all the blowing! We'll try to get it on video and post it, cause it is really cute!

6. John and I are really looking forward to nicer weather. He loves going outside, which he calls "side!?" But lately it has been rainy, so we've been cooped up inside. I promised him yesterday, as we gazed out the window at the rainy world, that it will soon be nice more often and we will go outside every day! I hope I can hold true to my word!

7. John has some cute words that he has come up with lately. He calls spiders and other bugs "paully." We have a stuffed animal that is a squirrel and he calls it "coy-ly." He has also seen squirrels outside and he gets very excited "coy-ly! coy-ly!"