Saturday, December 31, 2011

Seasons’ greetings from the Milwaukee Roses! We pray this letter finds you enjoying some simplicity and stillness each day has to offer. We had plans to send you a picture card early in the Christmas season, but Abby became quite crabby one night trying to fit our picture into the card
that she liked online. So she (I) gave up in a flurry and boycotted
the whole process until now. Yeesh and sorry. So we can use this time to say
that we hope that your Christmas celebrations were filled with opportunities to
reflect, adore, enjoy, and be the blessing that you are.

As for our 2011, it sure is hard to capture in a
letter. (But we will try:) It has been filled with alphabets and
promotions, transitions and travels, growth and love all covered in grace.
Our little Gabe (Gabriel) turned 3 on November 5th and we really can’t believe how the time has
flown. What a light he is for us. He has grown up so much in this past year and
we can’t help but look at him most days and admire and thank God for not only
making him but using him to teach us and Lord-willing bless others the rest of
his days. Gabe loves to learn and then tell and teach everyone else around him what he knows. (We are working on that:) He loves anything with letters, numbers, and
shapes. Puzzles, crafts, typing, games, hide and seek, devotional skits, cooking with momma, and wrestling with daddy fill many of his days. Phonics
fascinates him the most these days and reading has become his new challenge to
master. It is incredible to see the passions we are given and the excitement and joy we get from them. What a gift. Gabe loves being around people.
I try not to get too offended when his eyes light up brighter than the
stars when the doorbell rings. Playing with cousins, going to the library, visiting zoos or farms, park visits, and any play date seem to be his favorite pastimes.
He is getting excited to teach the new baby everything he knows. His favorite song these days is, “We are family….Daddy, Mommy, Manny, and me.”

We can hardly wait to meet this new little baby (yes, we are planning to name him Manny..:-) He could come any day, but I think it won’t
be for a month or a little less. What an opportunity to be able to carry and be the vehicle to give breath to another soul. I love the opportunities God gives us because if He knows we have the potential with his power, then I sure can have such faith. I really have enjoyed
feeling Manny’s movement this pregnancy; and he sure likes to move. I am picturing him to be on dancing with the stars in no time. We will keep you updated for when he comes to
start his earthly journey.

Eric has had quite a year of changes from the work front. He went from
being promoted to retail manager, to now the general manager of Lenscrafters in
Menomonee Falls. Gabe and I are quite proud and thankful for his provisions in many ways. It has been encouraging to see God bless Eric’s hard work and faithfulness. Eric
also had an opportunity for two weeks in September to go on a onesight mission
trip through his company. They were able to help almost 10,000 people receive “sight” in northeastern Mexico. God sure has used traveling outside of America for more than just vacation purposes to shape us and help us look at our days differently here. We are
hopeful for more opportunities to serve internationally. Eric was able to use his love of baseball
this year coaching our church summer coed softball team, playing on Dundee’s
church team, and almost cheering the Brewers to their first world series win. J It’s always a good year to be a baseball fan. Eric also remains to be Gabe and my entertainment most days. His jokes, nicknames, games, and impressions always keep us laughing.

This year seems to have taught me oodles. Much the same as every year I imagine,
but this time I am praying for it to stick more than ever. We found out early in May that God blessed us with much grace allowing us to have another child. Later that month I stopped working for Milwaukee campus ministry that I had been working for for three years. I felt led to not only spend more time at home, but also focusing ministry opportunities with international friends. I have been volunteering with a southside ministry providing English and “living in a foreign country” help. Every week I get to visit a friend from Iraq who has three children and no family or friends around. I am praying to be the truest of friends to Nuha and her family. God really has blessed me with a growth and love for “domestichood.” Since being around lots of people and being more of a tomboy come easy to me, my prayers and petitions to be a faithful and
loving mother were many this past summer. Also miracles for cooking skills were asked for. hee hee. God has been faithful like always and has allowed me to grow even more in love
with teaching Gabe, learning to be more creative and resourceful, organizing
our days, and taking care of two little ones. (I get to watch our neighbor boy Ollie three times a week too.)
We are not sure at all what 2012 will bring but we are certain that God is going before us. So with this we are thankful to approach the year with anticipation, loving motivation, and contentment. And our prayer would mimic that of a billboard that I saw for a soda recently.
(can’t remember which one) Be refreshing just like coke. (Or if you don't like coke you can choose the drink of your choice) Lord, may we be refreshing and filled with your light as we go.

With much love,
Eric, Abby, Gabe, and Manny

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The latest.

It has been a little while. I have to think here a moment in order to recap the last few weeks for you all. I try to do this at least once a month for several reasons (recap the latest that is) ;to see what we have learned, been blessed with, been doing with our time, and to prove my memory is still there...somewhat. :)

Eric has been working less, which explains my writing less. But it sure is great to have him with us. Money schmoney is what I say. :) We can't outgive God. A truth that would prevent many fights, ulcers, broken relationships, and so much more if believed by all; even half believed. It has proven true that 3 stooges are better than just two. Swings and slides seem to give more giggles with 3. The ducks are more entertaining...catch and tennis are much more exciting and books and devotion time seem more fulfilling. :)

Speaking of books, Gabe can't get enough of them lately. He used to only be able to sit for a page or two, but now we can make it through a whole book; sometimes asking for a double header. :) Cooking still never gets old for Gabe. Bead and block soup continue to be his top seller. Words keep multiplying as the days pass for our lil man. Someone expressed that his early vocab could be why sleeping is a struggle for him. I am starting to believe this as he is up late talking and wakes up talking. (mostly rattling of all of your names....let him know if you have any specific prayer requests as he prays for you all often...:)

We are finding that the "Jesus Way" is the only way. (this could be true for just about anything) But what I am referring to is teaching Gabe how to use his loving heart. I can't expect him to be patient if he is seeing me impatient with him or daddy. If he sees me sharing with daddy or others, I find he shares more. If I wonder why his tone of voice sounds a bit bossy...well.....wonder where he got that?:)

The Jesus way. Be it, live it,empower it... in order to teach it. (to our children...coworkers...spouses...neighbors.) It's all about the follow through. :):) His follow through...we just have to ask and believe it.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Eric,Gabe, and I decided to join the YMCA last month. We hoped this would help us to train for a 10K that our fam is running in this summer (me possibly fast walking..hee-hee) and to help keep us wanting to take care of our bodies as a way to thank the Creator for them. :)(and to support our sister Kelly who works for the Y. :)) The first time we tried it out we were fumbling around the machinery and wondering why no one was wearing their old high school t shirts and sweatpants like we were. :) Eric often goes to one close to his work, and Gabe and I often go to one close to our house on North Ave in Milwaukee. I am finding that it is worth the membership fees just to learn more about the African American culture. :) Gabe and I are probably the whitest blondies in the joint, but I never would feel like we stood out. I find that it is as if we have all known each other for quite some time. The first time we were there one lady at the front desk hugged and high fived Gabe for at least 20 mintues. He wonders why she is not working every time we are there. The countless after school programs and special community service opportunities set up for the inner city students of the Y are exciting. I wanted to try out a zoomba (sp?) class the other day, but once I peered through the window and saw the moves these ladies had, my pride suddenly came up with a sore ankle excuse. :) Can't compete with the black ladies and their rhythm. I find that sometimes I struggle with how to say things in the right manner, fashion, and with the passion I want behind it. And our cultures my disagree with the way to say things (black and white), but it sure would be nice to be able to say loving things sometimes with a little attitude, and no one would be offended by it. :) Gabe's new fav place is the basketball gym. I hold him in my arms and dribble and then shoot and he giggles like he does when we tickle his feet. :) He seems to get this cartoon road runner run going too in order to chase down the balls, which then sends me into the same road runner laugh :) What a neat way to meet people around us and use a bit of our time. :) If you are feeling the need to bust out in the YMCA dance, I am joining you. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Winter Walks

Yesterday Gabe and I were able to take a Wisconsin winter walk :) During our bihourly ironchef time in the kitchen, I could hear melting snow coming off of the roof. We peered out our could-be-cleaner windows and saw that the temperature read 40 plus degrees. What the hay are we ironchefing when we could be snowballfighting we thought? (Gabe, I am sure, had the same thoughts as I did.) So we bundled up in our puffy gear, pumped up the stroller tires, and hustled down the stairs in our boots. (BOOTS!!! Gabe calls them. He also thinks that stollers are called pumps due to our pumping of the tires. I didn't have the heart to break it to him yet. Pump is so much easier to say than stroller. :) Winter sure has it's purpose and beautiful value. But oh how neat is it to get reacquainted with the neighbor kids' giggles, bikers buzzing by you, the freshness of the air, and the smells of life (even hibernated life). Not to mention the serenades of the birds helping you to keep in step. Gabe didn't say a whole lot while we ventured, just a few grunts of approval when I asked if he could see the trees or the snow, or the puddles and the doggies. So much of our days need to be filled with moments reserved to be awestruck and silent, where words can sometimes get in the way. (learning from my 1 year old)

We got back from the pump walk and decided to make snowballs. This is about the only thing that has the ability to take Gabe's mind off of the kitchen PANS these days. (captions so that you can hear the volume from Gabe's lil lungs). (Daddy took Gabe out sledding last weekend and we couldn't get him and his red face to come in. :)) We threw some snowballs at the snowbank and made mini me snowmen that Gabe enjoyed punting. I was able to really just be thankful in the moment and sit and smell snow. :-) (No roses except us around) I had been praying about that lately. And I am not sure why I am surprised that God came through with a yes on that one right away..since that is what he longs for us. Joy in our days. ( Can't wait to get out there again hopefully when daddy has off.....)

To winter walks....

Friday, February 5, 2010

Where would we be without the camera?

Cousin Fiona visits us during the week now. Yay! (jealous at first,but now buds for life)

Just in case she wanted that cheerio on the ground.

Was mad momma was paying attention to Fiona, but then I learned how to feed myself! Why doesn't everyone have this much fun at lunch?

Making sure momma's head is as big as it looks. Not sure if this is her hot or her hat. Momma keeps calling hot things hats and hats hot. Sound the same to me. :)

The squeakiest cutest smiliest Roses ever.

No one gives rides like daddy (I have tried)

Gabe absolutely adores frying eggs and hashbrowns in the morning.

Ahh...relief. :)

The cutest shoveler around.

Yes, I know I am a ham.

Another thing that keeps me remembering our grace in our moments is our camera. :)

A few of my favorite things...3

It feels like awhile since I have been face to face with Mr. Blogman here. Not sure where the time has gone really. I meet with a friend once a week as accountability partners in Bible study and in living His love and walking the walk. She asks me the hard questions and I pray to honestly answer them weekly to her and God. (would totally suggest this to anyone I knew) But anyways, it amazes me that each and every time we sit down, I have to fish deep within my memory bank (or not so deep depending on how you look at it) to see what my days are filled with. I know it's lots of love and giggles, lessons and play time with some trials and not so giggles , but those details......

So I decided to start journaling awhile ago (mini journaling I would call it) by writing the highlights of the days on our calendars. Looks like these last two weeks we are learning that sleep is not always a given, the last molars to come in are the largest, daddy is enjoying training for our family 10k run in June, mommy will never set the vitamix on fire again after finding out what it costs to repay it, Gabe gets a bit clingy when mommy is holding cousin Fiona, I take our speech for granted just about every moment...since I am seeing how tough it is for Gabe to put all of those vowels and consonants in order, daddy's work has been quite busy, friends are so fun to have over, neighbors are valuable to love and get to know, mild winters are fun to shovel in with a one year old, and wedding anniversaries are the best things to celebrate.

Here are some of Eric's favorite things: (according to his wife)
being with his family (sounds a bit vain coming from me...hee-hee)
Just about anything involving baseball:
previews, playing it, listening to it, watching it, talking about it, studying it, researching it, practicing it, saying it...
being amongst loved ones
appreciating a good sense of humor
giggling with Gabe,
appreciating good service
golf (as of last summer)
racquetball (as of yesterday)
going to church
a good shower
the art of music
acting and directing
reading a good book (and thee good book)
being with lil people
being on time (early even)
watching a good documentary on anything from potatoes to Coke
warm even hot weather
earth tones
a good hair cut
going out to eat
the office
checking off lists
active work days

to eat/drink:
miso salmon
not too much caffeine
avocado chicken
a good glass of pinot noir
healthy food
cookies being the exception
I could keep going

What can I say. I'm blessed.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A few of my favorite things...2

It's Friday. That means many things for these Roses. One of them being that daddy is working both of his jobs. He was recently promoted to full time at his day job, and still serves "for fun", he says, on Friday nights. We certainly are graced by that man's loyalty. Gabe is pushing out his last four teeth these days. I just read online that it could take up to 6 months. If only I had gone to school to be a surgeon, those suckers would have met the inside of Gaber's mouth quite some time ago. Where would we all be without our molars though? Probably wimpier and praising God less for chewy delicious food.

A few of my fav things.....
hearing one talk about someone or something they love
goosebumps (except when cold)
knowing Eric will be home soon
clean stuff
studying the Bible together or alone
most coffee shops (decor, smell, and company)
gardens (pricky-weed free)
hikes (wooded preferably)
mail (all forms)
cooling off from a run
the 1800s
acoustic music
that God allowed me to become a mom
board games (most)
being with our families
times of solitude (in creation)
family ties (the show :)
simple white daisies
being around every and all cultures
listening to chinese friends speak chinese
that God desires me to know more about Him daily
remembering smiles and giggles of China
resting the head on the pillow, recapping the day, talking with the Father, snuggle time
my dad's sense of humor

to eat:
trail mixes
mango anything
homemade parfaits
chocolate covered anything (well...)
(millions more, but this has been lately)

to drink:
piping hot water (that Chinese influence...)
coffee.........probably why I am still up
chai guy soy boys (as Eric calls them) chai tea with soy milk
a good light beer

And this is only the top ten of my top ten of my favs. Nothing but grace.... Happy Friday.