Monday, September 23, 2013

Presenting Lily Joy Wilkens!

So the long awaited post for the LONG awaited blessing! Lily Joy Wilkens finally decided to join us at 42 weeks weighing 7lbs 14oz and 21inches.  She was born Sept 1st at 415pm and just in the knick of time I might add! The morning of the day she was born I was due to have a C-section because they were not letting me go any later. That morning they decided I was dilated enough to be considered in labor.

Everyone was pretty convinced she was a boy.. But she surprised us all! We are totally in love with our sweet little girl!

I felt God told me about 3 years ago that he was going to bless us with a baby and that her name would be Lily.  When we were thinking of baby names we were considering another girl name. I was reminded of what I felt God told me 3 years ago. Lily wasn't on the top of my list but Praying about her name God reminded me that she was not only a gift to us, but a reminder of how he cares and provides us. That she was our reminder of how God cares for the Lilies and so how much more he cares and provides for us. 

Matthew 6 :25-30 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?28“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
So with great joy we welcomed Lily Joy into our lives!

she fit into one of Abigail's matching doll dresses :)

exhausted with all the excitement!

We moved to Michigan just 4 days after Lily was born and so explains the tardiness of this post. I will be posting soon about what we are up to now.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sunny Southern Cali, Sweet Home Chicago, and The Great Nesting.

So its been a little over 4 weeks since we landed in Chicago. We left Melbourne mid June and made a pit stop in Southern California to visit Heather's cousin, His wife and their 3 children.  It was a short but great stop and it was a relaxing place to start taking the edge off of the massive impending jet-lag that would set in.  We had a great time hanging out, going to the beach and letting the kids play as well as  getting reacquainted with all America has to offer!

We were able to meet up with our friend Sarah and her boyfriend for a few hours as well! It was a great  time and wonderful to meet Edgar but too short!

We also took the last day to surprise the kids with a trip to Disneyland! We thought it would be a great reward for being the most amazing kids this last year! We didn't tell them we were going there but just took them. As we were driving up one of the main streets to get there there were numerous signs with Mickey, Goofy and Chip and Dale. Abigail started to notice them and she kept saying, "That's weird. There are all these signs with Mickey and friends on them!" When we were discussing where to park she figured it out and Josiah exclaimed with glee, "We're going to Mickey's house!!" It was such a fun day and we were joined at the park by one of our friends from the BAS who was home in Cali visiting family and Brett and Michele and kids (Heather's family) were able to join us for dinner and fun!

Our amazing friend Amy, one of the kids beloved "aunties" from this last year.

Josiah still loved meeting Mickey!

After we said goodbye to Brett, Michele and Crew our next and final stop for awhile was Chicago.   We arrived here in Chicago and have been staying with Bruce's parents.  It has been an interesting transition for us. This was the longest time that Bruce or I have been out of our home country and taking in to consideration that we were not just away living in 1 other foreign country but 4, its been weird being back.  We definitely have been experiencing culture shock and simple tasks like going to the store or the library have proven to be pretty overwhelming for us.  As the weeks have         
gone by things have gotten better and we are all adjusting.  

So what are we up to now? Well so far we have been to many family get togethers, celebrated the 4th of July and are trying our best to get ready for the baby. The kids have been partaking in general summer time festivities playing in the water, learning to ride a bike and playing with their cousins.  We have been trying to homeschool at the library for an hour or 2 on the weekdays just to give the kids a little structure.   My (Heather's) parents came for a weekend to visit and we have been going to Midwife appts in our old neighborhood of Oak Park.  Below are a few pictures of the last few weeks.  Regrettably we have forgotten our camera on some family gatherings and are lacking in the pictures with cousins department. :)  

waiting for the parade

a little sibling love!


knocked out after a long fun day glowstick still in hand.

Telling Grandma Davis something important. 

Grandma Wilkens took Abigail to the store to pick out a new bike helmet.  We thought she should model it for you!

Before we left a year ago A was riding with training wheels. When we got back we thought we'd try her without them to see how she did even though she hasn't been on a bike in over a year. She caught on super quick and its riding on her own! 

If your looking for J these days you can be sure he is somewhere where water is involved!
Baby #3 cooking away (35.5 weeks)!
So thats all for now. We will be back posting when the baby comes (Due Aug 18th) or if anything else is noteworthy.  We are still planning on returning to Tanzania Jan. 2014 and are continuing to move towards that goal. We are also planning on heading to Michigan for a few months starting in September and are waiting for things to come together for that.  

If you are either in Chicago or Michigan and would like to hang out email us at and we would love to see you!!

Thank you for all the love and prayers that you have shown us over the last year! We are so blessed with amazing support! Bless you!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Greetings from Melbin! Last stop for us this side of the equator..

 On our way back to the States we've stopped to spend some time with my (Bruce) oldest sister Julie and her family who've been living in Melbourne, Australia for the past year and a half. She actually keeps a great blog with some beautiful photography that follows her family's immigrant experience here with her Aussie husband Paul and their 3 kids (fivedownunder). It's been great spending time with them and for the kids to see their cousins. Who knows when we'll be able to do something like this again?
Melbourne (pronounced Mel-bin by the Aussies) is a very diverse and cosmopolitan city that has more of an English feel to it than other Australian cities. After our time in Perth where most things in the city center are walkable, Melbourne seems enormous although it's only about double the size.
Enjoy the pics!

Flinders St. Station. Built 1909

Don't let her beauty fool you! Melbourne has some hardcore bicycle thievery.

Practicing some Parkour with my nephews, Thomas and Ryan.

Watching street performers.

Did some day excursions in the mountains outside of the city.

Sunset at St. Kilda.

As you can see, the kids had a blast and are all really sad  we're leaving tonight

I know it's a bit fuzzy but I still wanted to show this skyline at twilight. 
On the way to the footy game!

Each person in my sister's family cheers for a different team. This game was their eldest son Thomas' team, The Magpies verses Paul's team, The Demons. The Demons are like the Chicago Cubs of Australian rules football so naturally I had to cheer for them. And naturally they got spanked. 
Our last day excursion was to ride Puffin' Billy, a 100 year old steam train that takes you up in the mountains. Good fun.

My sister Julie and my niece Ella.

Some of the sweetest times with this visit was being able to spend time with family in their day to day living.

Goodbye Melbourne and goodbye McMahon family. Thanks for a great visit! We love you guys!