Just a quick note to let everyone know that Karen's WebNursery is now online. We should have birth announcements and pictures in the mail to everyone in about two weeks.
This morning, at 8:09, we welcomed into the world Karen Elizabeth Bennett:
She was born via c-section at 8:09am; she weighed 6lbs, 10oz, and was 20" long. Both baby and mommy are doing well, and are recovering.
Nana and Papaw brought her Big Sister Lily to the hospital to meet her this afternoon. We'll have more pictures up soon.
We have been looking for quite some time, to find a church home suitable for Stephanie, Lily, and me - somewhere that we can get involved in the church ministries, outreaches, and service as well as somewhere that can meet our needs: worship service with which we can relate and be both fed and challenged, an excellent children's program, and small-group ministry to facilitate building relationships and friendships with other people our age and in similar life circumstances.
We have tried several churches, trying to keep an open mind about non-essential things such as membership size and style of worship, while at the same time looking for unity in the things we consider essential: namely, doctrinal matters. For the past couple months, we have been attending Grace Church of St. Louis, and have connected well enough that we have decided to go through the four-week membership class to determine how well this church might fit for us.
We will be considering several things, including the details of the church's doctrine, the dynamics of a smaller group (our class has about 70 people, which is considered "small" for a church the size of Grace), the ministry/small group/service opportunities, and the emphasis/mission of the church (missions, evangelism, discipleship, etc.).
If we have one concern thus far, it is the somewhat overwhelming size of the church. While I would be perfectly comfortable, provided that we can find smaller groups with which to get involved, Stephanie is not quite so comfortable. That is why the nature and dynamics of the church's small group ministries will be critical to our decision.
Please be praying for us in our search for a church home - that God will show us where He would have us to be, and especially that He will enlighten us with respect to Grace Church through this membership class.
Sorry for the infrequent posting, but things have been really busy here.
My most recent project is the basement. When we moved in, I had basically everything that we didn't know what to do with, put into the basement workshop/storage room. So, now that we've got the main level and upstairs essentially in shape (except for the breakfast room), I've been concentrating on organizing the basement and storage room. Here's what it looks like now:
Of course, I had to make some special additions:
And then there's the workshop/storage room. Without having seen the before pictures, you really won't get the transformation - so these pics are mainly for my dad:
I also uploaded a bunch more Lily photos, to her Nine Month and Ten Month sets. She's been as adorable as ever, learning new things such as clapping, drinking through a straw, and trying to climb the stairs. But of all the photos, this one has to be the best:
So, you wouldn't know it from the ten inches of snow we got yesterday, but this past weekend was gorgeous. Sunday was about 77 degrees and sunny, and we got the chance to take Lily to the park, to enjoy the weather - and the infant swing:
As the weather continues to get nicer, and Lily gets closer and closer to being a year old, I'm really looking forward to playing together outside in our yard, and more trips to the park!
Lily has been making so many advances lately!
First, she is so proud of herself for being able to pick up her food and put it in her mouth:
More recently, she has been trying so hard to pull herself up. The first time she accomplished the feat (this past Friday evening), it was so brief that I couldn't get a picture. Not to worry; when I went into her room to get her up from her nap yesterday, here is what I found:
And when I called her Papaw to wish him a happy birthday yesterday evening, Lily decided she would show off for him:
I haven't gotten any pictures yet of her other new discovery: looking at things upside down. Lily loves to see anything and everything upside-down. She will throw her head - or even her whole body - backward in order to look around the room, or at the paintings on the wall, or even just Mom and Dad. She is also becoming amazingly expressive; some of her facial expressions are just adorable - or hilarious.
Steph and I marvel at what a fun and exciting time we are experiencing in Lily's life. She is learning so much, and becoming more inquisitive and adventurous. We already know that part of moving into our house will mean installing outlet covers, cabinet locks, baby gates, and all of the other required "baby-proofing" that we'll have to do. But we wouldn't have it any other way!
Last weekend, we went back to our new home, to take more pictures, and get some room/window measurements.
The pictures below are part of their own flickr set.
A little bit more about the house: it was built in 1920. The sale history indicates that it was foreclosed about a year ago, and then re-purchased by the current owner, who re-modeled and flipped it.
We'll find out for sure after the inspection, but the house looks to be in great shape.
The front porch is adorable and inviting. We can really see ourselves sitting on the front porch a lot - perhaps even put in a hanging porch swing.
The front door opens into a very nicely sized family room.
The house has a room listed as the "dining room" but it is the walkway from the living room to the kitchen, and also opens to the stairs to the basement/side entrance. We think it would be too high-traffic for a dining room, but would work perfectly as a sitting room or library (we have several bookcases, and a ton of books). My parents have too kindly offered to give us two white love seat-sofas that they would like to replace, and we think that they will fit perfectly in this space.
The kitchen is large, clean, and open, and has all new appliances - matching Frigidaire refrigerator, dishwasher, and gas stove.
We will eventually want to change the cabinets and the counters, but that might be part of a bigger project later on. I could envision opening up the wall into the breakfast room, and adding more cabinets, and a counter/bar.
We think we will use part of the large breakfast room (21x8) partly for the dining room.
The basement has a workshop/storage area, and a large (17x20) finished area that we've not yet decided what to do with. It has a tile floor and plaster walls, and might make a good recreation or play room.
If we had one complaint, it would be the size of the bedrooms. The main-floor master is only 13x9, and the two upstairs bedrooms are only 9x9. That said, the rest of the house has so much room, that we can use the bedrooms as just bedrooms.
The breakfast room opens onto a small porch, with steps down to a nice, slab patio.
In addition to all the room in the house, the property has a very nice, fenced backyard with plenty of trees, and even a small shed.
We're incredibly excited to be making this step! If all goes according to plan, we will close Feb. 15th - which will give us two weeks to get moved out of the apartment and get it cleaned. Keep us in your prayers!