Tag Archives: imanuel alexander

Birthday Boys’ Report

The crazy thing about my family is that all of our birthdays fall in consecutive months:

October – Me (Judy)
November – Micah
December – Ty
January – Bentley
February – Israel
March – Manu
(The cats were adopted and we’re unsure of their exact birthdays.)


We got this pin a few years ago and we use it for all the boys’ birthdays. 
They get to wear it all day. 
Best investment ever.

The crazier thing is that EVERYONE in the entire Namm family was also born within these months!  For almost 6 months, it seems like we have a birthday every week!  There is a lot to celebrate.  Now, we are nearing the end of the birthday blitz and I finally have time write about our latest birthdays. 

December 12, 2012:  Ty turned 3.
Ty had a quiet birthday right before all of the Christmas festivities.  We took him to Chuck E. Cheese for games and cake.  I can’t believe his is already 3 years old.  He is such a happy and sweet boy.  He is getting sillier each day and loves to make us laugh.  He’s at the age where I wish he would never grow up.  We’re trying to make sure we take videos of how he talks and the songs he likes to sing.  He is a total mama’s boy and yes, he still totes around my shirt everywhere he goes.  My favorite line that he always says is, “That’s the biggest ________ that ever I seen!”  On Ty’s birthday, we also took our family Christmas pictures, wearing the matching love shirts that Justin & Rachel gave us (as seen on our new profile pic).

     

February 26, 2013:  Israel turned 33.
We celebrated with our family, which is what Israel likes best.  The boys and I made him breakfast in the bedroom.  After he came home from work, we surprised him with another little party for dinner.  We ended the fun day with a family movie night.

March 4, 2013:  Imanuel turned 7.
I can’t believe I have a 7 year old child.  And I can’t believe how blessed I am to have him.  Imanuel has been one of the greatest motivation factors for me to be a better person.  His sweet and sensitive disposition forces me to be more gentle and patient.  He is such a caring brother and will often plead on behalf of his brother’s mistakes.  It is my sincere prayer that he will continue to grow to be more like Christ and that I will never get in the way of that.

Manu’s birthday was exactly how a teacher’s kid would celebrate his birthday.  On Sunday, we went to Impression 5 with some friends.  Then on his actual birthday, we did some experiments from a kitchen science kit that John bought them.  It was a fun & educational birthday. 

 

Now we have a 7 month gap to recover from all of the extra calories!  🙂

Manu’s 6th Birthday

Through a series of unfortunate events, our plans for March 4th changed.  In the place of a wedding weekend, our home was filled with visiting friends from across the country, lots of games, exercise, and ended with a last minute birthday party for our birthday boy.  It was definitely what I would call a fun and exciting weekend.  Maybe, at times, too exciting.  🙂

We called a few of Manu’s best buddies to see if they were free to come over on Sunday.  We were so glad that they could make it because it was so much fun!  Manu was also blessed to receive many generous gifts from his family, friends, uncles, and aunties.  Thank you to all those who thought of him on this special day.  He told me it was his best birthday ever! 

Here are a few shots from Manu’s 6th birthday.  The awesome photos courtesy of the Mendezes.

The sign for his name was made by Harabuhgee when Manu turned 1 year old!


Harabuhgee treated the boys to fries and Shamrock shakes for lunch – something only a grandpa could pull off.  Micah felt that THIS was the best party ever.  🙂


Playing some air hockey before heading to the Y


Went skating & swimming at the Y


Korean BBQ tacos for dinner at our place


In the basement for piñata time!  Youngest to oldest…


Manu’s turn!  Time to spin 10 times!


Daddy controlling the piñata.  Watch out or the piñata will come after you!


Finally, Auntie Tammy saved the day and was able to bust open that toucan!  There was a mad dash to the goodies!


Manu and the treats he collected. 


Birthday boy!

I feel so blessed and humbled that despite myself, Manu is growing to be such a sweet, caring, and intelligent child.  It is even more wonderful that he loves Jesus with all of his heart.  It is our perpetual prayer that he continues to grow in God’s grace and that God uses him for a special purpose to further the kingdom of Heaven. 

Thank you, Manu, for being the best firstborn son we could have ever asked for!  Your brothers are so blessed to have you to look up to.  We are so proud of you.  May you always shine for Jesus!
     

The First Days of School

So, I have been pretty indecisive whether or not I wanted to start home schooling with Imanuel.  He showed interest in learning and he has always loved to read, but I wasn’t sure about structuring the learning in more of a school-style format.  Well, it got to the point in our lives where it seemed like the days were just crawling by.  We would go through our daily routine, but particularly with Imanuel, he seemed to be getting bored and constantly itching for something else to do.  When I brought up the idea of starting school, both Imanuel and Micah were ecstatic.  So, last week, on Monday, January 23rd, 2012, we officially began.  They each chose a backpack for their school books and supplies and we were ready to go.  When Ty goes down for his nap, school begins.

I haven’t purchased anything since deciding to start school.  I decided to utilize all of the pre-K/K books, workbooks, stickerbooks, coloring books, and flashcards that we have accumulated over the years.  I dug out all of my teaching supplies that I previously had, as well as a stash that I had been collecting over the past years specifically for teaching my boys.  I came up with a basic learning curriculum to start off with.  We set an alarm for one hour and within that hour, we have a short worship, learning/assignment time, flashcard time, craft time, and then we close with prayer.

After the hour of school, it is snack and story time.  They are listening through The Bible Stories on CD.  That was one of the best investments we have made for them.  After that, they are ready to play.  🙂

I am so proud of how much they have learned so far.  It really is amazing to see how sharp their minds are.  Just a week and a half ago, Manu didn’t know how to read at all.  But today, he has learned to read over 20 sight words.  A couple nights ago, he read his first few board books by sounding out the words.  Micah came into school not knowing how to color.  Seriously.  But he has really improved in staying within the lines.  His proudest accomplishment has been learning to identify both capital and lowercase letters. 

So far, they really seem to be enjoying this time together.  They help each other by encouraging one another.  When one of them does something amazing, they give a “squeegie-like-a-luigi” (which translates to a big bear hug where both end up on the floor).  Micah made that one up.  It’s lots of fun. 

It has been really fun getting back into teaching.  It is so different from teaching my upper elementary/middle school kids.  But it is still a fun challenge and the satisfaction of seeing your students learn remains the same.  I’m thankful that I spent those years as a teacher by profession.  It provides lots of ideas and resources that I can utilize now.  The limited one hour time frame gives me motivation to prepare a solid, fun, and challenging school session from start to finish.  Hopefully as time goes on, I will be able to maintain the same quality of teaching for a longer period of time.  I pray that God will continue to grant me patience and motivation to be the best teacher I can be for them.     

Here are pictures of our first days of school:
(FYI, we do school in our PJs.  🙂

Happy Groundhog Day!!!

2011 Our Triathlon Summer

For our family, this summer will forever be remembered for our triathlon accomplishments. I became an official triathlete in June at the Hawk I sprint tri in Lansing – my first race. Israel became a half-ironman at the Koop just last week. The boys spent lots of time in the pool and lake and improved their swimming. Manu is on his way to (short) distance swimming.

Today, history was made once more as Imanuel fulfilled the last requirement for him to become a triathlete. Get those training wheels outta here!! Manu rides a two-wheeler!!

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Ty trying to be like his brother.

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He’s gonna have to wait a few years…

Happy 5th Birthday, Manu!

Dear Manu,

Happy 5th Birthday!  You are growing up so fast!  We’re so thankful that you are a special part of our family.  You have made us so proud already and your sweet disposition has been such a blessing to us.  You are the best big brother anyone could have asked for.  Micah and Ty love you so much and look up to you.  Continue to be patient, understanding, and kind as you play with and teach them.  Keep Jesus first in your life and remember that to be like Him is our ultimate goal.  We love you so much and our prayer will always be that you remain faithful to God throughout eternity.

Love,
Mama

Thank you, Harabuhgee for the yummy, HUGE cake!
Best friends

Sweetie, we hope all of your dreams come true!

There is a Fountain

The first communion I partook in after Imanuel was born, our close friend, Sikhu, sang for special music.  The song she chose to sing was the famous hymn, “There is a Fountain”.  I had heard this song many times, but for the first time this song came alive to me.  She sang these powerful lyrics:

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The first time I ever saw my child’s blood was soon after I gave birth to Imanuel.  It was from the infamous heel poke that they do to draw blood for newborn tests.  I will never forget that experience.  The initial poke made him cry a little, but it was when the nurse(s) would squeeeeze his tiny foot to collect the full vial of blood that just made him scream.  I remember just staring at one nurse in disbelief because it seemed like she was totally oblivious to our child’s pain.  Initially we were in shock because she even had the nerve to get frustrated with him because he kept squirming around.  By the end, our feelings evolved into anger.  But Israel and I held our peace and as soon as the nurse put the band aid on, we grabbed Imanuel to hold and comfort him. 

As Sikhu sang this first verse, an overwhelming image flooded my mind.  Contrary to the few droplets of blood from a heel poke, I saw a literal fountain flowing with blood, but I saw that it was pouring from Imanuel’s, my son’s, veins.  It made my heart break, and as much as I wanted to erase that image, I knew that this was a reality for One infinitely greater and purer and holier.  His Father held His peace, and had the strength to even turn His back on His dying Son.  Not only was this done because His love for our fallen world is so amazing.  He also did this because His love for His Son was so great that He knew this was what Jesus ultimately wanted – to commune once again with His beloved creation.  It was then I understood, that while the Father chose to hide His face from His dying Son, His heart was breaking too.  Here at the cross, we see two different, but powerfully equal demonstrations of God’s great love for us and for Each Other. 

As we begin this new year, I am reminded of our desperate need to love God and each other more.  What a great sacrifice that was given so freely from God!  What incomprehensible love towards no good sinners like me!   Who wouldn’t want to serve Him? 

Lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains!

Boys’ First Trip to the Dentist

A few weeks back on October 28, the two older boys went to see the dentist for the first time. Actually, Manu had a scheduled appointment, and they said they would leave a chair open in case Micah felt up to it too. A week prior, I had one of my biannual cleanings and I decided to bring Imanuel along so he could observe. The last few times I had gone to the dentist, he had begged for me to take him too, but this last time, I felt, was the time. He sat very quietly and patiently as he watched Marcia scrap and grind away all of my tartar and plaque build-up. It was intriguing for him to see Marcia water down my mouth with the water syringe and then watch “Mr. Thirsty” in action as he suctioned it all out. He couldn’t wait for his time!

So, I brought both boys to the appointment. It wouldn’t be for a cleaning, though. It was just to take x-rays and for the dentist to count and assess their teeth. According to the hygienist, both boys did a great job and the x-rays turned out very well. In other words, Micah shocked all of us by actually sitting very still! The dentist had a difficult time believing Micah was still 2. It was a proud moment. The boys’ teeth looked good. Manu’s jaw is a bit misaligned, but the dentist said we’d wait until his adult teeth come in to begin any correction. The best part for the boys was getting to pick out a prize from the Treasure Chest that is down the hall in the corner. They both chose matching “I <3 to Brush” bouncy balls.

Last week, we scheduled the boys’ first cleaning, but this time, we waited in the waiting room. We, meaning, the rest of the family. Israel and Ty decided to come too since it was Daddy’s day off. Manu went in first and 20 minutes later when he came back out with shiny teeth, a brand new toothbrush and a tiny plastic magnifying glass, Micah couldn’t wait for his turn! He grabbed Marcia’s hand and marched through that door. I saw Marcia and the desk lady glance at each other with big grins. Micah came back about 20 minutes later as well with sparkly teeth, a new toothbrush, and of course, a tiny plastic magnifying glass from the Treasure Chest. Marcia said both of them did very well. When I asked the boys how they did, Manu reported that he “obeyed everything she said AND remembered to say ‘thank you’ at the end”. Micah said that he opened his mouth really wide for her and listened to her. He admitted that forgot to say thank you, but he did ask for lots of water to drink. He said he asked her “for another cup and another cup and another cup!” and then he cracked himself up. I was sure to let him know not to do that next time.

Here are some pics from that first visit to Dr. Richard’s office:


Dr. Richards liked Micah’s outfit. 🙂


He and his wife both went there.


The boys and their dentist, Dr. Richards. He is seriously so nice. Must be a UM thing.


Happy boys who love the dentist!

Imanuel’s First Swimming Lessons

Last month, we decided to sign Imanuel up for the swimming classes that they were having at Michigan Tech.  It was for 2 weeks – Monday through Friday from 11am-noon.  He was in the pre-school aquatics level 2 class and it’s really amazing to see how much progress he made in just 2 short weeks.  Imanuel even had to skip 2 days of class because we went on a trip!  Today was the last day of class and Imanuel was very sad to say goodbye to his teacher, Laura.  In his words, “She is so nice and pretty.”  (He uses the words “pretty” more in the context of character rather than physical beauty.)  She is a wonderful teacher.  She taught him the basics of swimming as well as the confidence to be in the water. 


Swimming lesson in session

Imanuel’s biggest fan

Getting ready to jump off the diving board!

Swimming in the deep end

During an open swim, with plenty of inspiration from his cousin, Jacob, and extra coaching from Daddy…

Tio Juan and cousin Jacob came all the way from California to spend this past week with us.  Post soon to come.   

Milestones & Memories

First of all, I can’t believe my baby is 6 months old.  Second of all, I can’t believe Micah is totally potty-trained (even at night).  And third of all, I can’t believe the triathlon is in 2 weeks.  

Ty is such an amazing baby.  ‘Tis true that the Lord only gives us what we can handle…and He knew that I’d only be able to handle 3 kids as long as one of them was virtually stress-free.  (I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.)  I believe he weighs about 23 lbs or more and he is very long.  Last time I weighed him was a few weeks ago.  He has become an avid left-thumb sucker this past month and he has also grown his bottom two teeth.  He has learned to roll over from tummy to back but has yet to maneuver himself from back to tummy.  And just yesterday, we moved him into his big brothers’ room so the three of them all share their bedroom.  They love it (-at least the two older boys).  🙂  

Micah has become fully potty-trained after about 3 weeks.  The incredible thing is that since then, he hasn’t wet all night either.  (Imanuel still requires a pull-up at night…but he is quite determined now to quit wetting the bed!)  It is amazing the amount of pee he puts out every morning.  He sounds like a man.  But I am proud of his progress.  Believe it or not, I used tips from watching the free DVD put out by “Big Kid Central” (from the Huggies/Pull-Ups Brand).          

Imanuel has been in learning mode and loves anything that involves books/reading, triathlons (-his daddy promised to train him for his first triathlon when he turns 7), and bells.  We started a little bell choir with our home school group and during our first performance at a nursing home, Imanuel played his bell notes flawlessly.  It shocked me…but it shocked me more to realize that he is 4 and he will be starting school soon!  We’re also going to enroll him in swimming lessons sometime soon (part of the triathlon training).

Israel completed his first triathlon, Hawk-i, on Sunday, June 6, 2010.  We were so proud of him as he finished nearly 20 minutes faster than his trial race a few weeks earlier.  On July 11, our 6th year anniversary, we’ll both be participating in the Belle Isle Triathlon in Detroit.  We’re both going to be on relay teams with Israel doing the swimming portion and I’ll be doing the biking portion.

We drove down to Michigan Camp Meeting 2010 in the Freestyle and Leon.  We’re thankful for Leon because Bentley was able to drive down with us and he’s come to view Leon as a second home.  On the first Sabbath, Israel was ordained into the gospel ministry.  That was a very special experience for our family and a true milestone in Israel’s life.  We’re so thankful for all of our family and friends who attended.  

In just less than 2 weeks, we’ll be heading down again for CAMPUS l.e.a.d.s.  A couple weeks after that, we’ll be at Camp Au Sable for Family Camp with Israel being camp pastor, then U.P. Camp Meeting at Camp Sagola at the end of July.  To top off the summer, we’ll be back downstate at the end of August for Stephanie & Jeff’s wedding!  We’re hoping sometime before then, we’ll be able to sneak in a week of vacation.  Lots of plans but hopefully lots of fun too.

This is also a memorable time for us because taking place right now in Atlanta, GA is the 59th General Conference session.  At the 58th GC session in St. Louis, Israel and I found out that I was pregnant with our first son, Imanuel.  So, within the 58th and 59th sessions, we’ve had our 3 boys.  And we now have a new GC president, Ted Wilson.

We’re so thankful for God’s guidance and leadership in our lives.  He has proven time and time again that He is in control and He has carefully mapped out plans for us and all we need to do is stay faithful and trust Him.  There are so many more updates that I can think of, but it’ll have to wait until another time.  

Here are some memorable pictures and a special video that the boys made to remind us of the importance of daily studying His Word (-they thank their buddy Elisha for teaching them the song!):

 

We are going to miss Ian & his family!

 

The boys & Abuelo.  Ty got to meet him for the first time!

 

Ty wearing the pink PJ set that was passed down from both Manu & Micah.

 

At “Harmuhnee & Harabuhgee’s mall” for lots of playing & yummy treats.

 

Brothers

 

Training partners