CT—5 months

5 months! Say what?! I cannot believe that we are almost to the half-year mark… increible! I don’t know a cuter 5 month old. He is my little boy, and I couldn’t help but post a photo gallery of him. Gram and Memaw, I hope you enjoy the many “faces” of your precious grandson. We wish we lived closer so that you could see him in person, but these photos will have to do for now.

This is “Sumo” Cohen (how many rolls can you count on his back?)

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“Puppydog-eyes” Cohen
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“Good Morning” Cohen
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“Excited to eat cereal” Cohen
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“I can sit up on my own” Cohen
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“Still trying to figure out this rolling over thing” Cohen
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“Handsome blue-eyed” Cohen
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“I love my activity block” Cohen
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At 5 months:
1. You are exploring your vocal cords. You have a high-pitched squeal that you have discovered.
2. You laugh and smile a ton more than last month.
3. You still don’t have the greatest night schedule (though I started sleep training and you are no longer eating every 3 hours).
4. You go to bed from 7-8 and get up in the morning around 6:30 am (you are down to waking up twice or three times in between those hours).
5. Bedtime ritual–clean diaper, swaddle, pacifier, “Jesus Loves Me” in rocker (I love that I never rock you to sleep. You fall asleep in the crib on your own).
6. Still taking 3 fat naps a day. Eating every 4 hours now.
7. You are eating rice cereal and oatmeal once a day. We are about to try some new foods.
8. You spit up a TON (like Ana did). You always need a bib if we don’t want to change your whole outfit. I would worry about you getting any nutrients except for the rolls on your thighs. You aren’t hurting.
9. You can situp on your own, but you don’t have the balancing all down quite yet.
10. You eat in your purple bumbo.
11. You grab things and hold on to them much easier.
12. You love the activity block that Maggie got for her first Christmas when she was 5 months old.
13. Ana and Maggie love to make you smile.
14. Your head is covered in peach fuzz (it is all growing in). On the top of your head is really long, fine wispeys. Daddy wants to cut them, but I really like your wind-blown mohawk look.
15. I can no longer leave you in the corner of the living room couch by yourself. Last night, you leaned forward, and rolled off the couch. You cried, but there are no bumps on your head this morning. I felt terrible.
CT—5 months

Pat and Joshua’s Visit 2011

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We have been excited ever since Pat shared with me over our furough (last Christmas) that he was planning a trip with Joshua. Joshua turned 10 this year and something neat that my brother and sister-in-law do is rites of passage. They have decided that age 10 marks a special trip with Daddy where they discuss some pretty big topics. Since we are here in Peru and Pat has wanted to visit us, they felt it was appropriate to make Joshua’s special trip to Peru.

They decided to make it over the Labor Day weekend so that J wasn’t missing an entire week of school. They arrived early Sunday morning and left Friday evening. It is the shortest amount of time anyone has stayed with us so I was worried that it would go by way too fast, but we ended up doing the tourist thing with them mixed in with some homecooking from Manuela and it was a great trip.

I loved this visit because:

1. I love my siblings so much. It is an absolute delight when I get to spend an entire week with one of them. Pat has always been one of my heroes, and I soaked up every minute I had to spend with him.

2. I am Aunt “Mamie.” Joshua is my first nephew, and when he started calling me by name “Mamie” is how “Megan” came out. Because of this, I am Aunt Mamie to all of my nephews and nieces. He is 10 years old and he still calls me Aunt Mamie. I hope he is still doing it when he is 25. I LOVED being called this all week. Pat and Deborah, you have done an excellent job in training your children. It was made more evident to me in how Joshua acted this past week.

3. I love visitors that want to try new things, especially food. Pat commented that he didn’t have his hopes too high for the food here since he has visited several Latin American countries and not been that impressed. He changed his mind about Arequipa (what many call the culinary capitol of Peru). We ate and ate and ate. (our pictures are the proof)

4. The “tourist thing” gets old after you have lived here awhile, but it had been so long since we’d done it, I really enjoyed it.

5. Cousin time. Ana misses her cousins so much, and we will sometimes find her randomly crying about missing family back home. Joshua was SO GOOD to her. They played and laughed. Maggie was even included in on the playtime sometimes. Also, my brother is one of those fun uncles. He has always been able to make my babies laugh, and it was no exception with Cohen. I loved Maggie walking through the house asking for “Bat.” (Pat)

6. It is so neat to share kingdom work with family. Greg and I really enjoyed our late night talks with Pat discussing new books, authors, church work, vision. What a blessing.

Pat and Joshua, thank you for blessing us. We love you so much. The only way the trip could have been made better is if Deborah, Caleb, and Daniel had been able to come. Maybe one day. We love you!!!

Here is the link to all the pictures:

Click on this line to see pictures on Facebook.

Pat and Joshua’s Visit 2011

Andrea’s Marvelous Mini Meat Loaves

This is a huge shout out to Andrea Muse. She served this dish to us when we were home on furlough, my mom had told me how delicious they were, and Andrea put the recipe in the Cedar Lane cookbook. If you have never tried this recipe you need to. They live up to their name. They are great to make for a dinner party. I like to serve them with the Pioneer Woman’s Mac and Cheese recipe and steamed brocolli. Delish! And soooooo easy…

Marvelous Mini Meat Loaves

1 egg
3/4 c milk
1 c finely shredded cheese
1/2 c quick oats
1/4 c chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1-1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
sauce: 1/2 c brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp mustard, 2/3 c ketchup

Mix egg, milk, cheese, oats, onion, salt, and beef together. Roll into 6 small loaves. Place in a greased Pyrex. Mix ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard together to make the sauce. Pour sauce on top of loaves and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Andrea’s Marvelous Mini Meat Loaves

The Sacrifice of Time

Ever since Cohen entered the picture I have really struggled with balance in my life. The laundry is endless, the house is a wreck, there isn’t enough protein in the house, I feel like I am being a terrible mom to my girls because of time spent with Cohen… You get the picture. More than any of those things, I have been lacking in my personal time with my Lord. He should be my first priority, and he hasn’t been. I understand that as Cohen gets older I will not be as consumed with nursing and tending to him, but in this time, the here and now, I want and desire to feel that closeness to God. I shared with some friends the other day that I am so thirsty for him. Back in my soccer days, my coach told the team that if we reached the point of feeling thirsty we were already past the point of dehydration. I have been spiritually dehydrated, and I am ready to be filled again.

About a month ago I began, with my teammates and a friend I have met here in the city, a study by Linda Dillow. It is called Satisfy My Thirsty Soul. It has been a godsend for my spiritual walk. The book is about Linda’s journey to learn worship to God in her day-to-day living. I think I have come to realize that I can always look for something to use as an excuse to not spend time with God. Right now it is 3 kids. But if I truly yearn for Him and give my time to him and our relationship, there are multiple opportunities throughout the day to do so. I desire for my God to be my first thought when I wake up and the last thought before I go to sleep. I want his Spirit to whisper in my ear first thing when I see someone hurting or someone that I desire to reach for him. That is how I know I am in tune with God and have my priorities straight.

I am getting back to that, and I thank God for being faithful and loving me enough to be Abba Father. I listened to Dennis Jernigan’s “If I Could Just Sit With You Awhile” and “When the Night Is Falling” the other day and just wept. I love seeing my God as a Daddy that I can just crawl up in his lap and lay my head against his heart.

Diane Litton, Larissa’s mom, visited this past year and gifted the three girls here with a devotional book. She prefaced by telling us she has read many devotional books and not been too impressed but this one was different. She is right. If you are reading this Diane, thank you so much. I have treasured the words of this Christian sister, and it has been wonderful to wake up each day here lately and read these short snipits from her journal. The book is called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I would like to quote her thoughts from August 2. They were the perfect words for me to read in regard to what I have been going through:

“Bring me the sacrifice of your time: a most precious commodity. In this action-addicted world, few of My children take time to sit quietly in My Presence. But for those who do, blessings flow like streams of living water. I, the One from whom all blessings flow, am also blessed by our time together. This is a deep mystery; do not try to fathom it. Instead, glorify Me by delighting in Me. Enjoy Me now and forever!” (Ps. 21:6, Jn 7:38, Ps. 103:11)

I am far from perfect and have such a long way to go in this walk of faith, but right now I am trying my best to work on the relationship that is most important in my life. It is crazy how most everything else seems to fall in line when I have that first priority in place. I tend to have that Martha mentality, but right now my prayer is to be like Mary, to sit at the feet of Jesus and bring the sacrifice of time.

The Sacrifice of Time

MK—2nd Bday Party

We went with a Minnie Mouse theme this year (as much of a theme as I go with at least). Maggie loves the Playhouse Mickey show and “Toodles.” I thought I would go with Minnie especially since she is popular here in Peru. We had the team, the interns and the Padrinos (Alfredo and Judith) over for totellini and spinach ravioli (a favorite meal of Maggie’s), bread and homemade pesto. I made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for dessert (I still need to get your recipe Deborah!).

The little girls looked so cute in the little Minnie ears I found for them. Maggie enjoyed the party and got into the present opening for sure. For her second birthday she got a Clubhouse Mickey DVD, a set of Clubhouse Disney characters with cars, a Minnie purse with Minnie headband, a little Baby Bop doll, some books, and some new warm giraffe pj’s. Today we are going to spend her birthday money on a special place at one of the malls called “City Toys.” I will post pics of that in another post.

Thanks to April, our live-in intern, for taking many of these pictures for me. I love having the memories in pictures…

Birthday girl posing in her special Minnie birthday shirt

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I had to get a photo of the McKinzie 3. Love those ears!

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One always saves money with homemade decorations. 🙂

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After hanging my art work, Ana wanted in on the action. She decided to make her own “Toodles” poster for her sister.

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I always love purchasing some genuine printed napkins from the Peru party store. 😉

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Cohen at 3 and 1/2 months old

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Rachel decided to sport her Minnie shirt at the party.

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Does it get any cuter than this?! Shaye (4), Cora (1), Mags (2), Ana (4)

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I was going to borrow Larissa’s icing decoration supplies and forgot to get them in time. Stickers have become my go-to for decorating.

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Judith helped Maggie with the present opening.

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“Cop-tates!!!” This 2-year-old loves her some cupcakes.

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And look who woke up for the end of the party. 🙂

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MK—2nd Bday Party

MK—2 years old!

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“Maggie Kate, how old are you?” “DOS!!!”
MK has had a great 2nd year. I have decided that 12-18 months, they grow out of babyhood, but from 18 months to two, they are little people. Just in the last month Maggie’s talking has exploded. She doesn’t speak very clearly but she has started using words when she wants something and making complete sentences much of the time. Some of our favorite words right now:
cookie = “gook-gie”
bird = “burd”
sun = “nun”
what? = “baht”
Oh man! = Oh man! (so funny)
bubble bath = “bobble baff”
Steph (one of our interns) = “Beff”
wolf = “woof”
Cora/Dora/Manuela = “bela”
Elmo = “Melmo”
Barney = “Awnee”
Toodles (from Clubhouse Mickey) = “Todo”
Today during our team meeting she signaled to Cora with the Peruvian “come here” and said, “Ven, Bela, Ven.” Manuela has predicted that her Spanish will be better than her English. We shall see. She seems to understand Manuela when she talks with her. Isn’t amazing how easily they pick up on languages?!
I thought I would share some pictures to capture our little toodlebug…
so big and tall!
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she loves to hang out and read in my laundry tub. She gets all of her books and some toys and just hangs out.
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bedtime is 8:00. She shares a room with Ana. Her comfort item is called her Baba. It is the swaddle blanket that I brought home from the hospital when I had Ana. She discoved that there are three total and likes to sleep with all three. She also sleeps with “Baby.”
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Maggie now has a strong preference for what she would like to wear. On this particular day she insisted on wearing her butterfly headband (from her 1st birthday). I just love that it actually matched her outfit. Check out those blue eyes.
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eating the icing from her cupcakes we made at housechurch
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What 2-year-old doesn’t like “Melmo!” (She insisted on wearing this shirt over her dress on this day.)
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“Bobble Baff!” She loves taking a bath with AG. It has become a nightly ritual. They could spend an hour in the bath playing if I allow it.
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MK—2 years old!

CT—3 months

Smiling, cooing, sleeping, pooping, chuckling (a little)–that sums it up.

I took you to the clinic last week to get your vacunas and check-up. I only converted your weight. You are a whopping 14.75 lbs. You don’t miss a meal. You have started “sleeping through the night” (if the definition entails sleeping a 5-7 hour stretch at night). I just wish you could time it better when I actually go to bed. You love a paci, and we still swaddle you every night. You love your swing, but I just put batteries in the bouncy seat and you LOVE it. You talk away to those little animals. You are close to figuring out what happens when you kick. Your smile is the sweetest but you are certainly not quick to give them out (are you gonna be like your daddy?).

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CT—3 months

A New Project

My hubby is a manly man. He loves to build things. I absolutely love this about him. In our new home (which I know I still haven’t posted pictures), we have to use our rooftop for storage, tools, and my washing machine. The sun in Arequipa is incredibly harsh to things that sit outside for long periods of time so it was essential that we put some type of protection up there. This weekend, hunky hubby has been working on that solution. I told Ana that he is buidling me a house to escape to when I want some quiet time. 🙂 It isn’t exactly the before pictures. I have caught it in progress, but hopefully you can see the difference when I post the after pictures. Oh, and I was sure to take pictures of the view I have while doing laundry. I absolutely love those mountains. A warm sun plus a cool breeze plus a breath-taking landscape equals a wonderful environment and motivation to do laundry for a family of five. 🙂

coming up the steps and looking over at the wash area

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hunky hubby

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Volcano “Misti”

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the other mountains to the left of Misti

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closer up of Misti

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A New Project

29 and counting

Greg is 29!!!
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I am pretty sure he enjoyed his birthday this year. I made Monkey Bread for him on Wednesday morning (to share at our team meeting), we celebrated and went to TGIFridays for lunch on Thursday (picture above), he got a pair of shoes that he requested about 6 months ago, and we went on our first date since Cohen was born last night (Rachel’s gift to him was a night of babysitting–thanks Rachel!). Tomorrow at house church I am making one of his favorite desserts, MK’s Chess Bars, and if you thought we had been eating too much dessert, I am going to use his special day as an excuse to try a chocolate chip cheesecake recipe I have wanted to try for forever (it will just be coming a little late).
I love you Greg McKinzie! I am so thankful to be married to you, and I am glad I can tell people that we are BOTH 29 years old. Here is our picture from our date last night as 29 year olds.
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29 and counting