Saturday, December 30, 2006

On the road again

Don't they look like little TV sports anchors?!

Over Christmas we spent quite a bit of time in the car. We drove to Houston, Galveston, Louisiana, back to Houston, back to Galveston and then home.

Car rides are becoming so much easier with the kids...because of the DVD player!! Joseph and I got to have real conversations while the kids filled their minds with junk cartoons and junk food!

It was fun to see so many of our family members over Christmas. We spent the perfect amount with each and then moved on to the next house. The hard part was that the kids were opening presents everywhere we went for weeks. Even when we came home from our long trip our front door was blocked with boxes of presents. So blessed! It was a great Christmas with family time together celebrating the birth of our Savior! (and some presents sprinkled here and there)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Bathtime with new Christmas toys

Day Trips with the Family

While we were in Houston we got to spend MUCH needed time together as a family. We went to parks, movies and this great game/pizza place for toddlers. Below are some pictures of the kids playing their favorite games - Caleb loves air hockey and Luke likes to play skeeball even though he rarely gets the ball up the ramp! Oh and the movies that we saw were Charlotte's Web and Happy Feet. Caleb was glued to the screen the whole time. Luke was good until the last 30 min. and then kept switching laps, seats, flirting with the girls behind us and all around looking for mischief to get into. Then when the movie ended he was very sad and didn't want to leave the theatre.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Easiest Christmas Picture!

This year's Christmas card picture was the easiest one yet! Daddy picked the outfits (pretty impressive!) and the boys were as good as gold. It was done in 5 minutes. And we had many great photo's to choose from.
I have a feeling that next years picture might not be that easy!

Friday, December 22, 2006

A December Day at Galveston Bay

Sweet Little Lukie is SO cute!
A boy and his dog at the beach!
I love this picture below of my baby sisters taking care of my baby boys.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Good Life

Normally Sabrina is the one that does all the blogs but I'm on Christmas vacation and thought I would take a little free time to write something down. The last 6 months have been a little crazy. I always thought I had faced some pretty hard challenges (i.e. the Air Force Academy and the first two years of medical school). However, I have come to the realization that the last several months of my life have been the toughest I have ever faced. Working 80+ hours per week, trying to make time to study, caring for 2 boys I don't see near enough of, and trying to help my poor wife who is suffering from morning sickness has pressed me farther than I knew was possible. Perhaps even more amazing than the difficulty of what I'm facing is how much I'm actually enjoying it. While I'm certainly not having immense quantities of "fun" all the time I feel like I'm getting the most I have ever gotten out of life. I am also seeing the most miracles I have ever seen. Perhaps not the Jesus walking on water things that the word miracle normally describes but just the everyday events that when you really think about it are nothing short of miraculous. For example, over the last year I have watched my two boys grow to become the best of friends. Don't get me wrong, the two get in more than their fair share of verbal and physical altercations but they always insist on having each others company, defend each other from any bullies or fathers who feel the need to tickle them, and are learning new ways to help each other out (even if it means sneaking onto the top shelf to steal some cookies). My two boys could not be more different (Caleb is sensitive and emotional, Luke is rough and independent). I have found that the parenting tricks that worked with one child are meaningless to the other. While this places a curve ball in my parenting strategies just watching the way God can take two children of the same family and turn them into two completely different beings is amazing.
And then there is Sabina. All those of you who know Sabrina and I know that there could not be two more different beings. Over the last 2 years as the demands of medical school have increased her independence and willingness to fill in the gap left by my absence have overwhelmed me. I think many of those who know Sabrina well would not consider her to be the kind of person ideally suited for following her husband into a career field where 80 hours a week is considered the norm. However, her love and support during medical school have been amazing. Perhaps more importantly, however, is her willingness to remind me where my priorities should lie. Medicine has a tendency to suck people into their jobs and leave all other aspects of one's life by the wayside. Simply put Sabrina will not tolerate such behavior. Her willingness to tell me when I need to spend more time at home with her and the boys has been the glue that has kept me from derailing into textbook oblivion.
And as if my life was not full enough God has granted us twins. Suddenly the Sabrina who was picking up a lot of the slack at home went from caretaker to care-needer. Unfortunately, I have neither the money or the time to provide her the daily help she needs trying to raise two boys and fight off morning sickness. So what is a guy left to do? Well, while God is always behind the scenes altering our lives in divine ways, never has it been so apparent as over the last 2 months. From our mothers helping out, a Christian nanny, church friends and classmates wives - God's provision has been amazing. It hasn't made life easy but he never promises us an easy life. He has, however, been amazing in providing us with sufficient grace.
Now as I tell people, especially classmates, about our twins I often get concerned looks. While their lips are saying "congratulations" their faces are saying "glad it ain't me." I'll admit that from a worldly perspective having twins during medical school in addition to two kids with a limited budget is crazy. I have heard people express concern about having enough money for kids, retirement, affording a nice car/house, etc. I'll be honest. I had no plans of having kids before I finished medical school and now I'm about to have 4 before I graduate. How am I supposed to be the father God has called me to be and provide for my family while fulfilling the calling God has given me. I have no idea but God has been faithful thus far and I have no doubt he will continue to be. I have nothing but joy in anticipation of the two new additions to the family. While it will certainly make life harder, it will also make life more fulfilling. While I don't get to drive a nice car, travel to exotic places, have a large bank account, or even have much time for hobbies what are those things really worth? What would I be willing to sacrifice for these things? To be honest, not a whole lot. However, for my wife and kids I would be willing to sacrifice it all. Perhaps a better measure of one possessions is how much do they have that they would be willing to die for. How about you? What do you have that you are willing to die for? Praise be to God for those gifts of such immense value.
Finally, there is my profession. The last 6 months have been amazing. The opportunity to take the last two years of knowledge and actually use it to heal the ill has been an incredible experience. As dorky as it sounds it is a high for me to use what I have learned to diagnose a disease and provide appropriate treatment. Since being a young child I have feared obtaining a career where I was bored and I'll admit I bore easily. Medicine appears to have provided me with an endless opportunity to learn new things and continuously challenge my mental abilities. In addition, the opportunity to serve others is amazing. Even little things like giving the wife of a dying man a hug have eternal significance. While Adam's sin requires us to spend our lives toiling in the fields God has blessed me with a calling where I honestly look forward to going to work each day. How many people can say that?
So what's my point. Most of us spend at least a portion of our lives seeking the "easy life." Americans especially are obsessed with living comfortably and yet we wonder why so many of us (especially men) lack significance. I am living the most challenging and exhausting months of my life and yet they are the most fulfilling. While when most people think of the "good life" it could not look more different from what I am going through, I have trouble imagining that anyone in this world is enjoying life more than I am right now. I'm sure if God allowed me to pursue my life how I saw fit I would be comfortable yet my spirit and soul would be withering. Instead, he has given me a wife, children, career, and lifestyle I did not expect and has blessed me with more joy and blessings than I ever imagined.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The latest photo of Baby A & Baby B

Here are the last pictures that we got of our twins a couple of weeks ago. So far they look really good and healthy. Mom, on the other hand, has good days and not so good days. We are really praying that the good days come more often and in the next couple of weeks my nausea subsides completely! God has really blessed us these last months in so many ways. Kind people from church bring us meals and have arranged for a house cleaner to come and clean my house. Our Nanny is amazing and has kept a sense of "normal" for the boys. Friends have helped watch the kids and take them to and from school. My mother-in-law came to take care of us. Joseph was supposed to go TDY next week and they allowed him to stay home to take care of me. Through all my trips to the hospital God has always provided kind nurses and doctors to take care of me.
This time has been hard...the hardest in my life, but God has been so faithful and showed Himself to me in so many ways and through so many people. A verse I learned a long time ago that kept coming to me when I was most miserably sick was:

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
Psalm 121:1-3

Thank you Lord for watching over my family!

Our twinkies at 12 weeks! Posted by Picasa

Christmas cookies with Mrs. Angela

I was sick and in the hospital this past week, so our nanny had to work overtime with the kids. She is amazing and always has something fun planned for the kids. She brought stuff to make cookies with the kids and they had fun. Mrs. Angela has been a lifesaver and we are so thankful for her. She is so kind, patient, gentle and understanding of both my boys! Definitely a blessing from God!

A little snowman Caleb made Posted by Picasa

Caleb taking his icing job very seriously! Posted by Picasa

Luke is decorating the cookies with these edible stickers. (I hope they were edible because the kids were eating them!!) Posted by Picasa

Check out Cookie Monster's stuffed mouth! Posted by Picasa

A special Thanksgiving gift!

I was pretty sick still in November, so my mother-in-law hopped on a plane with a couple days notice to stay with us to help out! She was such a blessing and really took good care of all of us!! She stayed for 2 weeks and was a nurse, cook, maid and grandma! It was wonderful to see her!!

Caleb being silly for his picture with grandma and Luke Posted by Picasa

And there is a sweet smile! Posted by Picasa

While grandma was here she got Luke some new underwear for Christmas and he was so excited he didn't want to open any other present. He wanted to wear them all around the house and even wore them OVER his diaper for bedtime! Posted by Picasa

Our future Mr. GQ posing in his new underwear! Check him out! Posted by Picasa

Caleb is a...different child! He has been wanting a lint roller really bad for months now and the other day we finally got him one! He was so happy because now he gets to "lint roll his uniform for work!" We may be looking at a future cadet! Posted by Picasa

The brothers love to ride their motorcycle together. They jump curbs, run into's frightening! Posted by Picasa

Check out the look on Caleb's face! This is why he will never own a motorcycle! Posted by Picasa

And their favorite part...CRASHING! Posted by Picasa

Getting ready for our twins!

Caleb is learning how to change diapers and hopefully will be a big help when the twins arrive. Unfortunately for Luke he is the guinea pig!

Luke: "Are you sure you know what you're doing?" Posted by Picasa