Friday, February 26, 2010

Conversations with Maggie

Just a few minutes ago, I went in to check on the kids before I went to bed. As I was covering Max up, I heard Maggie's little voice, obviously wide awake, coming from her crib:

Maggie: I covered up my body.
Me: You covered up your body?
Maggie: Yes, I covered up my body.
Me: (I look into her crib to see her bundled under her favorite pink crocheted blanket) That's good. When you cover up with your blanket, you keep warmer at night. [pause and look closer]. Maggie, are you naked under that blanket?
Maggie: Yes.
[I pull back the blanket to see that she has unzipped and taken off her footie pjs except for the arms, and removed her diaper.]
Me: Maggie! Where is your diaper?
Maggie: It's on the floor. I need big girl panties.
Me: Sweetheart, you're not ready for big girl panties at night yet. You have to learn how to keep dry first. Why did you take off your clothes?
Maggie: I was swimming.
Me: Swimming? Why were you thinking about swimming? Did you see something about swimming?
Maggie: Yes.
Me: What did you see?
Maggie: Ariel. Ah ah ah, Ah ah ah [she starts singing like Ariel.]
Me: Maggie, you cannot swim like Ariel in your bed. Let's put your clothes back on.

**Note: Can you tell I have a little talker on my hands with Maggie? We carry on this type of conversation every day. Wait, make that every minute of every day.

Welcome to the World, Sweet Baby Roman!

Welcome, Roman Alexander Dees!
February 26, 2010, 12:55 a.m.
7 lbs 2 oz, 20.5 inches long

Huge congrats to Tyler and Meagan on the birth of their first son! It was really wild to see my baby brother become a father last night. I am just so thrilled for Tyler and Meagan, and I know they are going to be fantastic parents. Just look at how precious their little family is:

And this is probably my favorite shot of the night. It captures a moment when Mom and Dad were standing outside the delivery room, waiting to meet Roman and listening to his first cries. This was a day and a moment we didn't think Mom would live to experience– and yet, she was there and reveling in every second! It was very emotional and we were all praising God and overflowing with gratitude. What an amazing night!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Just a quick update on preparations for the India trip: Expenses for my trip are now 100% covered! I'm completely blown away by how God has moved in the hearts of individuals to be a part of this trip. It's been amazing to see God use the generosity of others to provide for every single need. I'm grateful to both God and to all of you who have supported me financially and with your love and prayers!

I'll be flying out in exactly two weeks. There's A LOT to be done between now and then, but I am so excited about the trip! Please keep praying for our safety and productivity during our travel and during our two weeks in India. As I've seen how God has so powerfully provided for all the physical needs for this trip, I've grown even more excited to see how He plans to move and work during the trip.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Pops!

Happy Birthday today to Lucas' stepdad, Tony (A.K.A. "Pops")! Even though Max has had a really rough couple of days with a bad ear infection and various other maladies, he wanted to wish Pops a happy birthday. And of course Maggie is always up for an opportunity to sit in the spotlight. She sat in front of the camera and "rehearsed" for about 10 minutes before we recorded the video.

Happy Birthday, Tony/Pops! We love you!

And, just for fun, check out their birthday greeting to Pops last year! I found it on our YouTube account when I was uploading today's video. I can't believe how much Maggie has changed!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Week With Uncle Joe and Aunt Tammy!

We just had a fabulous week with Joe and Tammy! (For those of you who don't know- Joe is Lucas' brother and Tammy is Joe's beautifully lovely wife!). Here's a pictorial recap of some of our adventures this week:

The week started with a Valentine lollipop from Uncle Joe and Aunt Tammy. Max and Maggie were feeling the love. They quickly realized this was going to be a pretty fun week. :-)

After weeks of COLD and cloudy weather, Joe and Tammy brought some California sunshine along with them! We enjoyed a picnic in the park on a gorgeous February day.

Extreme Swinging with Uncle Joe. "Higher, Uh-Al Doe!" Maggie was yelling.

Joe and Tammy cooked us up some awesome Carne Asada, which we enjoyed on the patio, thanks to Joe's mechanical skills of fixing our patio heater!

We spent some quality time with my parents. Then they watched the kids so Joe and Tammy and Lucas and I could go on a double date- how fun!

Max and Maggie learned how to dry the dishes.

And Maggie and Tammy read, and read, and read......

.... and read.....

..... and read some more!

And Uncle Joe put on some puppet shows.

So, as you can see, it's absolutely no wonder why, when Saturday came, Max and Maggie were asking if they could go home to California with Joe and Tammy. Seriously. They thought they might could hitch a ride this way:

Thanks, Joe and Tammy, for a wonderful week of fun! We loved having you here!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm Going to India!

Friends, I have some exciting news: I am going to India! As many of you know, my sister-in-law Laura is the director of International Princess Project, a non-profit organization founded by Christians to help women in India who have been rescued or escaped from a life of forced prostitution. IPP takes these women/girls in, gives them a home, and teaches them a sustainable trade: sewing.

I will be traveling with Laura on her next trip to India. In addition to visiting three cities in India, meeting IPP Indian partners and visiting one of the sewing centers where the Indian women are learning to sew and are making Punjammies, I will also have the opportunity to tell the stories of these beautiful women through some photography and writing work that I will do for IPP while in India. I could not be more excited about having the opportunity to contribute to the important ministry at IPP through photography and writing!

I will be working very hard over the course of the next four weeks to check everything off the "Must-do" list to make this trip a reality. All the details from visa applications to immunizations to raising support to preparing my family and kids for me to be gone for two weeks is now looming before me. But as God has opened this door, I am confident that He will provide all that is needed and probably even more. I am certain that I will return home from India six weeks from now as a different person. I can't wait to see what God does in my own heart, and I pray that He will multiply any contribution I am able to make to IPP during this trip so that the important work of redemption in these Indian women's lives will be multiplied as well.

I need to raise $2,300 to cover the cost of my airfare. I also need as many friends and family as can to pray for me, for Laura, and for my family during the preparations and during the trip. Please do not feel coerced or pressured to help in any way, but if you want to help support me on this trip, just send me an e-mail at cherissa (at) roebuckmedia (dot) com and I'll get you some more info.

If you'd like to learn more about International Princess Project, take a few minutes to watch this brief video. I think you'll see why this organization and this work is already so near to my heart:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Conversations with Max and Maggie

Conversations with Max:

Thanks to an uber-generous gift of an awesome new TV, we now have PBS kids playing in our house in the mornings. This is the first time we have had TV in our house basically since we've been married (maybe we had it for a few months at one point pre-kids?). Anyway, the kids are loving their PBS shows, and we are learning how to regulate the amount of TV time. :-) The kids were watching PBS this morning when I called to them from the bedroom:

Me: Kids, in five minutes the show goes off so I can do my exercising.
Max: Oh, man!
Lucas: Max, why don't you do the exercises with your mom?
Max: I don't do exercising early in the morning. I just watch TV and play video games.

That sounds like something I would say!

Conversations with Maggie:

Last week as soon as Maggie and I walked into the standard bathroom in Best Buy:

Maggie: (looking around at the metal stalls) Ohhhhhh, This is wonderful!
(Stranger in middle stall starts laughing uncontrollably)
Me: (Chuckling) Why is this bathroom wonderful?
Maggie: It has a place just for me!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Perhaps it will take more than a day...

Friends, we are potty training full-force with Maggie this week. Pray for our endurance and success! For those of you who have potty trained a child before, I need not tell you what hard work this can be!

I have to say, though, that day one of potty training has been about 1,000% less frustrating than the first two weeks of potty training with Max. Here's my shout-out to Sarah Smits and her recommendation of the book Toilet Training in Less Than A Day. After two weeks of NO PROGRESS with Max, Sarah recommended this method to me. It worked wonders with Max, and we are having some immediate success with Maggie as well while using this method. Neither of my kids have been "toilet trained in less than a day," but this method has definitely gotten us off to a positive start.

Here's hoping for a speedy potty training process!