2U6A9631.jpg

One of the great joys of ministry here at the MTC is celebrating special occasions with so many amazing students and their families! Though we have a very short year and a half with each of them it's a privilege to be a part of their lives before most of them head overseas. 

The special celebration on this particular day was little Addie's 2nd birthday!  Lots of fun, and cupcakes, were had by all!

Gracen showing off his full belly!

Gracen showing off his full belly!

 

Posted
AuthorIsaac Smay
 
2U6A9551.jpg

What is it about obstacles that can completely eat our lunch at times or motivate and propel us to heights we never imagined at other times? Why is it so easy to get bogged down or tangled up in the fray of life and lose sight of the goal of expanding the kingdom of God? Why are we, as exceedingly messy, stubborn, and proud humans entrusted with the most sacred of gifts – the saving message of the Gospel… It often befuddles me on days like this (where I feel like I'm just banging my head against a wall to get things accomplished) that my Savior and heavenly Father chose to give me (in miniscule part) stewardship of this exceedingly huge task.

Perhaps it just today. Perhaps it's just the reminder of my own inadequacies... perhaps that's right where He wants me – clinging, like that little kitten you always see on the poster, to Him and His sufficiency.  

What is it Lord? What are you doing that I cannot see? What are you perfecting and conforming in my heart that I have yet to realize? It's all I can do today to just cling to your Word, and promises therein, trusting you to use this seemingly unyielding obstacle for my good… and for your kingdom.

 

 


Posted
AuthorIsaac Smay
 
Slice 1.png

DISCLAIMER: I know, I know! It's been two months since his first birthday and I'm just now posting this... please don't make me feel any worse than I already do! I could give you a detailed explanation of why it has taken so long to share these but I have recently decided I need to stop feeling guilty for the realities of life... so aaaaaaanyways, here are the images and info I wrote for this update so very, very, very long ago... yeah, crud I suddenly feel guilty again :P

 

Our little "monkey" just turned one today! What an unbelievable year of watching him hit milestone after milestone–smiling, laughing, crawling, walking, talking (sorta), playing, and every other little boy thing imaginable! This guy never ceases to amaze us with his personality and intelligence (i.e. he's too smart for his own good)! It continues to be an absolute privilege to raise him and slowly/hopefully guide his little life towards the Lord. We have loved his first year so much and look forward to many years and memories to come! 

Now, on to the good stuff! 

Yeah, special visit from grandma! 

Wait! What's this you say? Something is sneaking up behind me? Tell me more...

Cake? I have no clue what you're talking about... here have some veggies! 

Yep, don't be alarmed, it was just cake!

So you're certain I'm allowed to have this?!

Yeah, that was fun for the 1st minute or so...

Sugar comma setting in...

Nevermind, I can totally handle more!

Hello?! Busy here...

Fine, I'll share!

Come on, have some more!

You know you want it!

HA! So much for that no sugar diet you were on mom!

Yep, all cleaned up and ready...

Yep, all cleaned up and ready...

So, where my presents at?

Ah, spotted one...

 ......

 ... you serious?

Yeah! That's more like it!

Yeah! That's more like it!

VROOOM!

VROOOM!

Geez, how many more are there?

Yeah... this is cool...

 ... sorta.

Wow. Made out of a recycled milk jug huh?

Yeah, that's cool (bedtime).

Yeah, that's cool (bedtime).

 

Posted
AuthorIsaac Smay
2 CommentsPost a comment
 
Yeah, I see ya there old man!

Yeah, I see ya there old man!

Come just a little closer...

Come just a little closer...

Nevermind, I'll just come to you!

Nevermind, I'll just come to you!

 

Posted
AuthorIsaac Smay
 

As months continue to tick be quicker than I can catch my breathe I'm constantly amazed by how quickly our once little "blueberry" grows and learns! He's already developed tastes, preferences, and opinions all his own... though he hasn't yet expressed some of these things verbally (whining/grunting counts though, right?) he truly has his own personality! Never in a thousand years would I have imagined myself happily changing diapers (most of the time), joyfully picking out matching outfits, or contently staring at his precious sleeping face... His life has honestly brought me unique pictures of love and joy that I never fully understood as well as I do presently. 

 

Now, don't get me wrong–he's as stubborn and ornery as his father, but for whatever reason, even through the difficulty of discipline/correction, I rejoice in the privilege, responsibility, and blessing of being his daddy. And all it takes to make those moments worthwhile is him melting into my arms and wanting nothing more than to be loved, accepted, and held by me–his father... it's really challenged and grown my whole outlook on how God sees us when we completely surrender and submit ourselves to Him – He loves us beyond our own comprehension of the term and patiently desires, and willingly works on, our often stubborn hearts. Just as no amount of Gracen's inconstancies will ever change my love for him so to is God's love for me throughout my own inconsistencies unchanging... but now I have an even better understanding of the joy my own obedience must bring to my heavenly Father; it must be a far more infinite version of the pride and joy that fills my heart when Gracen displays appropriate obedience. Wow, nothing like being a father to realize what a true child you are huh?!

 

Okay, on to the good stuff: 

 

Oh, you're doing that whole camera things again...

Oh, you're doing that whole camera things again...

Yep, well aware of my cuteness level...

Yep, well aware of my cuteness level...

HA! Enjoy that backlighting daddy!

HA! Enjoy that backlighting daddy!

Must avoid eye contact...

Must avoid eye contact...

Walking? No big.

Walking? No big.

Best one arm air-drumming EVER!

Best one arm air-drumming EVER!

This a better angle?

This a better angle?

You're getting sleepy...

You're getting sleepy...

 

Posted
AuthorIsaac Smay
 

Weeds? Oh, those slow growing green things have nothing on our little guy! Just 10 months in and you'd think he was ready to set-out on some big adventures all by himself!

Soooooo, you woke me up for this little "celebration" did ya? Don't worry, I'll return the favor at 3am tonight :D

Soooooo, you woke me up for this little "celebration" did ya? Don't worry, I'll return the favor at 3am tonight :D

He's already walking fairly consistently–so long as there is relatively sturdy objects to grab/lean on within a 3 step-shuffle distance. In fact we think he prefers "walking" (think little kids at a roller-skate arena clutching to any object available and making their way around) to crawling, at this point anyways... he's just needing to fine-tune everything a little bit more!

Well, I suppose I can at least sit up straight for my fans... but no smiling. 

Well, I suppose I can at least sit up straight for my fans... but no smiling. 

One thing that continues to blow us away is just how smart our little peanut appears to be! Now we know EVERY parent thinks this way ("blah, blah, blah, my kid is sooooo smart") but seriously, he's been identifying objects and colors (ball, book, shoes, red, yellow, green, etc.) incredibly accurately and he displays a very pensive nature and personality to boot! Neena and I just look at each other, mouths wide open, and say "we're in trouble", "this kid needs smarter parents!" :P

Man, you and your close-ups dad... time to learn how to compose some different imagery!

Man, you and your close-ups dad... time to learn how to compose some different imagery!

Please continue praying for us as we raise this adorable little guy! We long to see him grow up to be a man of faith who knows, fears, and loves his Savior and heavenly Father! Gracen is such an overwhelmingly amazing and precious gift to us and we long to raise him in such a way as to return him to the greatest Giver to do with his life, for His kingdom, as He pleases... So pray with us to that end!

One more? Okay, here's a cute little smirk for ya!

One more? Okay, here's a cute little smirk for ya!

 

Posted
AuthorIsaac Smay

We were excited to host Neena's father for a few days this last week! Rather than try and tell you everything, we figured pictures would suffice!

Gracen excitedly knocking down his hotel pillow fort!

Gracen excitedly knocking down his hotel pillow fort!

More fort destroying awesomeness!

Spoiling me by hanging out with me on the computer... something mommy and daddy don't let me do!

Yep, I'm well aware of the fact that I'm adorable! thanks for the hat Grandpa!

Grandpa sneaking in a few more kisses before saying goodbye...

Love ya too grandpa!

Love ya too grandpa!

Sooooo, this is the last image folks... move along. Nothing to see here.

Sooooo, this is the last image folks... move along. Nothing to see here.

 
Posted
AuthorIsaac Smay

Yep, just another belated birth-month post–this one of Gracen's 9 month celebration! Thanks to everyone for being so understanding with the frequency (or lack thereof) of our posts lately, hopefully a bunch of pictures of one of the cutest little guys ever will make up for it! So, without further ado here is a day with Gracen!

Well, you have to start the day by ensuring you look adorable, right?!

Um, I'm trying to eat here dad!

...getting closer doesn't help!

...nor does changing angles!

So, I guess I'm not eating then huh?

Yeah, getting ready for a road-trip!

Finally starting to enjoy my car-seat!

We going out or what?!

Playtime with mommy, my favorite!

Yeah, end of day bath-time!

Yep, cutest buns ever!

 
Posted
AuthorIsaac Smay

Wow, our sweet little guy is growing up faster and faster and we've been left reeling in the aftermath! Never in a thousand years could we have imagined we'd want a human being to remain small and never grow up... but alas, our "peanut" is far too quickly outgrowing outfits, making more and more attempts at walking (really just a side-step-fall-down sorta thing), and exuding his own unique personality! Well Gracen, we love and adore you beyond measure and consider ourselves blessed to be your parents! Thanks for making us laugh, cry, and smile uncontrollably... now, if you'll just stop trying to investigate the toilet and it's surrounding area we'll be perfect! :P

For this month we present to you various images of Gracen with a beard (yeah, it was meant to convey he's growing up quickly, but I think we might've gotten carried away with it). Enjoy!

Yep, you see that in the top right corner?! That's the 8 month mustache seal of approval... because apparently I'm already awesome at growing facial hair (special thanks to Chrissy Chubb for providing said "facial hair")!

Yep, you see that in the top right corner?! That's the 8 month mustache seal of approval... because apparently I'm already awesome at growing facial hair (special thanks to Chrissy Chubb for providing said "facial hair")!

I call this pose "magma". For obvious reasons!

Yep, "blue steel" is correct.

Mom! You're totally in my shot!

The "vintage lumberjack".

"My father's son". Ahhh, I knew that one would getcha!

 
Posted
AuthorIsaac Smay

Come on, no-ones really going to buy that you actually posted this on the 6th of January!

Seriously dad... time to stop saving up a thousand images and posting them all at once the second you have free time... can I interest you in some priority management software?!

You know what? Nevermind, just realized you were taking "serious" pictures this time... CHEESE!

 
Posted
AuthorIsaac Smay