Tuesday, July 31, 2012

6 Month Report

So we've survived 6 months in Michigan! As a family we have been stretched, tested, encouraged, and even discouraged at times. Life here has been pretty sweet though, so I can't complain. I moved into an area that usually sees pretty rough winters; this year was EXTREMELY mild. That was a lovely surprise and I believe a wonderful gift from the Creator. Plus as Summer rolled around, I had heard that it gets hot around here, and that the lakes never really gets warm. By early July however, the lake temp was at 75 degrees! What a pleasant surprise. Mark wondered if I would ever swim with him this summer because I hate cold water.  Thanks to the warmer temperatures I have definitely been to the beach more times than I can count, and have been in the water almost as much :). Thank you Lord for a beautiful Summer :). God's just warming me up to this area I guess.
There are many blessings to be counted as we look back over these last several months. The most important is the abundance of family time we've been able to have. You can't put a price tag on that! Back in PA Mark was working 8-10 shifts a week to keep us afloat, and I was over-stressed/over-burdened with a very young infant. Since the move Mark usually only works 40 hrs a week, which is huge for us! Not only are we spending more time with each other but also with Mark's family. We have also had the privilege of driving back to NJ once already to visit my family! It was a surprise, and we cherished the time we had with them :).

So here is an overview of our last 6 months:

-Ben has welcomed us with open arms into his home. The upstairs is totally ours. He has allowed us to paint, and make it our own. Eden's room was the last to be painted, which Mark and my Sister-in-law Heather completed when Eden and I were in NJ.  So nice to come home and have it finished! So now comes the decorating. I love decorating, but sadly it takes me so long to get around to it. I am a very big procrasinator :). Eden's room is coming along; pictures are on the wall, as well as some other decorations. The hall-way has lots of pictures up, but of course I still want to add some things. Our room could use some TLC as well. Mark just the other day, finally put our make-shift bed frame together. He measured and cut some wood, and made slats that would lay across the metal frame that we have.Then he laid ply wood on top. For those of you that don't know, our box spring didn't fit up the stairs. So we have been sleeping on our queen mattress on the floor for 6 months lol. Our first night on the new frame we felt so high up! 

-Mark got a job at Lake Woods Nursing Home, just 2 weeks after our move. He started on night shift for about 2.5 months. He has since switched to day shift which has been wonderful! Night shift definitely took a toll on our relationship. Currently we don't have health insurance, only Eden does. This is something we could use prayer and wisdom for. Mark needs to get a full time position that he can get health care with.

-I began my personal endeavor into the world of photography back in March. I've started my own business, and have had a handful of shoots so far. I have recently created a Facebook page for my business, that allows others to see my work. I know I have such a long way to go when it comes to mastering techniques, equipment, and editing programs, but I'll get there. Right now things are slow. However, as I create business cards, and discover how to expand my clientele base, I hope to have a more steady business going by the Fall.

-We have settled in at Bethel Baptist Church of Fruitport Michigan.This took longer to decide than we had hoped. We visited a handful of churches over a few months span, however our hearts were continually drawn to Bethel. This is the church Mark spent many of his growing up years at. His dad was the former Pastor. This June, we welcomed on a new pastor and his family, and are excited about the changes and growth that is happening! We have been helping out with the Youth Group for about a month or 2 now. We are also helping with the nursery renovations  project!  Both the infant and toddler nurseries at Bethel needed a bit of an upgrade. So we've been helping pull off wallpaper,scrub walls...and are hoping to paint, and install new flooring in the next few months.

-Eden has done a lot of changing and traveling since January! Her first flight was at 3.5 months. It was a bit stressful, but we made it here. In March she survived her first 12 hr + car trip. We split it between 2 days, and it took around 20 hrs total...She did pretty good considering she was only 5 months old. Shen then took her next flight back in May, at age 7 months. Her and I flew to NJ to spend some time with my family. She has been on 6 flights total, and is only 9.5 months old. She's a pro!
Eden has reached many milestones since our arrival to Michigan. She has rolled from stomach-to-back (Feb.), and back-to-stomach (March), Sat up by herself (March/April), popped through her first tooth (April 27th), waved for the first time (June), rolled/scooted all over (June/July),
 and most recently she has crawled (July11th). Despite only being able to crawl for a little over 2 weeks, she is a fast mover. Once she put all the movements together, she just took off! We may have a walker on our hands before we know it!

- Since we've moved we have been keeping up with TV shows through Netflix and Hulu Plus. However, I am happy to say that after 6 months of living here we are finally getting TV channels! Now we can enjoy the Olympics, plus have TV in time to enjoy all our favorite shows when they start up this Fall. YAY!!

So that is the recap of our last six months! We look forward to what the next half a year will hold!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Eden and the ER!

You know that part in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, where the Grinch is trying to tug the slay back from the edge of the cliff and his heart grows something like six times its original size all at once?  I think that is something like what happens when a woman gives birth to her first child, her heart multiplies in size.  As that child grows, so also does a mothers heart, but as Katie learned on the 21st: a mother's heart can only take so much!

The 21st was Eden's second trip to the ER, but it was not nearly the joyful trip she experienced the first time.  Although she was not admitted, there was plenty of trauma and tears.  Turns out our little one only had a viral infection that should clear up in a few days, but coming to that conclusion required a lot of probing (literally).

Katie and I have been taking rectal temps for Eden ever since she started running a fever last week, but the nurse in the ER did not seem to have nearly the concern for Eden that we have as she jammed a much larger thermometer pretty far into her... Eden screamed like she just saw a demon!  Unfortunately that was only the beginning of the probing.

The next traumatic experience was a nurse attempting to give her Tylenol by the mouth.  Eden somehow managed to spit it out even though his technique was supposedly  flawless... He was surprised at her ability and said it made his night. Although, it did not help Katie's heart any, there was a bit of laughter involved (between the nurse and I ) as we watched Eden's stubborn side appear. He actually was a very nice guy and ended up giving Eden a colorful bear at the end of the night, and asked her if they could still be friends :)... However, since Eden wouldn't take the medicine by mouth, it was time to get it in her elsewhere... that's right, a suppository!

After the nurse popped the rather large suppository inside her, Eden hadn't even calmed down before two ladies entered to give her a catheter for a urine sample.  Eden did not make this easy, by peeing twice when they opened the diaper, thereby making it hard for them to collect a sample.  Finally, they put the cath in and Eden again screamed like she was being pinched!

At this point mother Katie had reached her heart's crying limit.  She nearly died just hearing her little darling scream for all three probes, unfortunately her night of crying was nowhere near done.We went home at 11:15 pm, and I had to go in to work that night.  Eden spent most of the night screaming as if someone were still hurting her, she wouldn't fall asleep. Finally, she gave in around 4am after watching veggie tales sing along 6 or 7 times with Katie and Uncle Ben.

Katie's mother heart was pushed over the edge that Saturday night, but the thing about these stressful times is we come out on the other side stronger.  Just like going through the agony and pain of labor produces a child that causes a woman's heart to multiply in size, the pain of seeing your child scream and suffer through pain makes a mother stronger and more able to love her through the tears.  Though we would not wish it to happen again, I think Katie is a stronger mother for it.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

2012 Goals update: July

WARNING: The post you are about to read is filled with tales of failure and overall lack of progress.

The good news is we still remember our year's goals, which puts us ahead of probably two thirds of people who make resolutions/goals.  The bad news is, as you will see below, it has been three months since our last update and there has been shockingly little progress on some of our goals.  Summer life for us has been hopping.  If you read our last post you would see just how many different events we have been celebrating; plus we are praising God that he has been providing me with 40 hours at my job nearly every week!

Without any further explanation, below I will list each goal, a summery of its progress, and give an EPC (Estimated Percent Complete):

  1. Read 2 parenting books
    1. After reading only two chapters of "Shepherding a Child's Heart" in two weeks time, we had to return the book to the library and have yet to either check it out again or buy it.  So zero progress has been made on this goal.  We haven't even decided which book to read after this one. We are talking about reading "Give Them Grace" Or "Raising A Strong Willed Child"
    2. EPC: 5%
  2. Jog a 5K together
    1. Our last update in April claimed that we would now be jogging with Casey and Heather and hopefully running a 5k together with them.  Well that has yet to happen once, and I doubt it will.  In fact, Katie and I have only run together a time or two all year.  I have made it out about five more times by myself, but this is supposed to be a together thing.  We are just struggling to find the time to do it together.  On top of that, the 5k we wanted to run happens to be on the same weekend my wife is planning to attend a biannual consignment sale in Indiana with my aunt.  So we have no 5k to run either.  It is looking so bleak for this goal that I am rolling back its EPC from 3% in April to 1%
    2. EPC: 1%
  3. Pray together 5 nights a week before bed
    1. Praying together at night is a wonderful and life changing experience.  This was supposed to happen more often once I moved from night shift to days and actually am going to bed with my wife.  Still, we struggle to make this even a semi-consistent practice.  Lately (as in the last three of so nights) we have been praying together and it has been wonderful!  Unity in the Spirit is such a huge joy in a marriage, so please pray that this goal gets up and running for us on an every night basis!
    2. EPC: 14%
  4. Take an active ministry role in a local church in Michigan
    1. After much prayer and many discussions between Katie and myself, we settled on attending Bethel Baptist Church of Fruitport as our home church.  We love the people and the passion at Bethel and couldn't be more thrilled to call it home!  Already God has opened multiple doors for ministry at Bethel, especially in the youth and nursery ministries.  Katie and I have committed to working with the youth for the summer and attending every Wednesday night.  I had the opportunity to speak to the youth about what "Haughty Eyes" are and why God hates them.  Katie is taking an active aiding role to Abby Gagnon in helping with the church nursery, especially in its renovations.  This goal is basically complete, but I will leave ten percent uncompleted because ministry is something that requires faithful attendance over a long period of time, and therefore the last ten percent will be filled with our faithful participation throughout the rest of the year.
    2. EPC: 90%
  5. Update this blog twice a month
    1. I am very sad to say that this goal finally fell behind.  We were proud that we had kept it on track for 5 months.  I did post 3 times in May, once on the 31st, but only 1 time in June.  Still, in spite of the fact that we can no longer fully complete this goal, we will aim to get as close as possible.
    2. EPC: 54.2%

Thanks for taking a moment to keep up with Team Worth!  We are now more than half way on two of our goals, but woefully behind on the other three.  Let us know what you think or how you are doing on your goals/resolutions for 2012 by leaving us a comment.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Where Have We Been?

Sadly, it has been a while since we have updated this blog. One of our goals was to blog twice a month this year. We were doing so well until June! We fell 1 post short of our goal! Oh well, we will keep pressing on anyway.
The month of June was a hectic one for sure. It was a marathon of celebrations for us! I flew back from NJ on June 2nd, and Mark celebrated his 27th birthday on June 3rd. We had a very nice day together. Went to dinner at the best Mexican Grill around, Qdoba.( This is quickly becoming one of our favorite places to eat at). Then played 2 of Marks favorite games Batchi Ball, and Dirty Marbles. Oh and Mark's birthday wouldn't be complete without his favorite cake: Confetti cake, with Rainbow chip frosting!
  Right around the corner was my 24th birthday, on June 8th. Mark, along with his family, took me out to Chili's. It was excellent! We also went to the movies ALONE. Aunt Casey, Nana and Papa graciously agreed to watch little Eden.We saw What to Expect When Your Expecting! Very funny! Definitely more humorous now that Mark and I are parents ourselves.
The celebrations continued with Uncle Ben's birthday on June 16th. We of course ventured out to another restaurant, the Asian Buffet. I would say a Worth family favorite, but more importantly Ben's favorite :). We then enjoyed cake and a game of Dirty Marbles at the apartment.
The 18th came just 2 days later, that being Mark and I's 2nd Anniversary. Now do you understand why I said marathon of celebrations? This was a very fun day for us as a family. We could not believe that it had already been 2 years. We have seen so much change since that day back in June of 2010. God has seen us through some very difficult times, but also so many wonderful blessings. Eden was with us the whole day, she of course was and is the best blessing we have received since TEAM WORTH was established! We journeyed to Grand Rapids for the day. Had a nice picnic, went to the John Ball Zoo, drove around Holland MI, went out for ice cream, and watched the musical fountains in Grand Haven. What a looong day! It was also very hot. Eden did fantastic though! We didn't do anything extraordinary,but enjoyed every minute. Simply setting aside a day to be a family was amazing!
The 24th Mark's Aunt Kim, Uncle Tim, and family came over for a grill out and party.  The best moment of the evening is when Mark's cousin's daughter Sasha (two months younger than Eden) sat down and saw Eden, and the two of them spent the next hour or so screaming back and forth to each other (in a good way we think).
The next celebration was for Aunt Heather's half birthday.  It is a Worth tradition to celebrate her birthday on her half birthday since she is born on December 28th, 3 days after Christmas.  Heather requested that we do breakfast one Sunday morning at the Golden Corral!  She was thrilled about eating cotton candy at breakfast, as was Mark!

So it is safe to call June the month of celebration here in the Worth household.  This post did not even mention the three celebrations in late may (Parents anniversary, Ben's new position at work, and Mark's getting certified in MI for CNA).  Katie's parents also have their anniversary in mid May and we were sad to not be able to celebrate with them because of the distance!  In July we are going to have to start making things up to celebrate in order to keep up the festivities.

We appreciate you taking time to read our blog and hope that it gives you a small glimpse into our family!  We miss and love all of our friends who live outside the West Michigan area and hope to reunite with you as soon as the Lord blesses!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

10 on 10:July

For this month I chose to use pictures from June18th. That being Mark and I's 2nd Anniversary. We had a day planned with adventures, and I knew I'd be bringing along my camera. Mark and I decided  to start a tradition of celebrating our anniversary in a different city every year. Last year we spent the day in NYC. We of course will not always be able to go to a big city, but we would like to try to stick with the theme as much as possible. So this year our dream was Chicago, but due to finances and having a baby who doesn't take a bottle, we chose Grand Rapids. We took our precious Eden with us for the day. We had such a fun day as a family! We started our day in Rosa Park Circle, where we enjoyed a mist fountain, and our yummy Subway sandwiches. Next we went to the John Ball Zoo in GR.We practically melted in the heat,but had a great time! Eden loved the petting zoo. Next we ate dinner at Cracker Barrel, and then explored Holland MI. Finally,we headed towards home, stopped for Ice Cream, and enjoyed the Musical Fountains in Grand Haven MI. What a fun filled day it was! Enjoy these pictures from our sweet day! ( I apologize if you've already seen these on my facebook page :)

Head over to Arlee's page to check out her 10 on 10 for this month! http://www.timandarlee.com/blog/