Family News

May 14

From chilly Chicago to sunny Big Sandy…

Yes, the opportunity came for us to attend the Big Sandy regional family conference last week! Robert live streamed the evening sessions while I visited friends from all over and introduced them to Marilee and an ever growing/changing Sauntina. The Pendergasts hosted us during our stay and Sauntina went to sleep each evening quite worn out from playing with their four children. 🙂


My sister, Aleita, works down there at the International ALERT Academy so we squeezed in as many opportunities to visit as we possible could!


We also celebrated a lovely and restful Easter Sunday with the Pendergast Family and friends ~ Aleita, Corrie and I all wore the same colors without knowing it!


On the way home, Robert, James, Jonathan, Sauntina, Marilee and I stopped in St. Louis for the night and toured the St. Louis arch the next morning. This was my first time up there and it was quite the feeling to be over 600 feet in the air with nothing between you and the ground!


Now we are home sweet home and ready to settle back into routines again…


Apr 14

A Little Catch-up Time…

Due to three surgeries over the Christmas season, and wonderful help from my sister, Aleita, and Robert’s parents for a couple months following, we fell behind in post updates, but are blessed with good health once again and back to tackling the tasks of life. For awhile there, I wasn’t sure I’d ever have enough energy to take care of my little girls by myself, but the Lord was so kind and we are back to normal running errands, cooking, cleaning, and hosting guests! Praise the Lord for the wonderful gift of health! Here’s a little glimpse of the past few months…

Aleita, who came for an 11 day visit in early December, ended up staying 5 weeks and was mother to my two girls while I spent a week in the hospital for gallbladder surgery, then two more surgeries in the following weeks due to complications.


Discharged Christmas Eve and celebrated a quiet Christmas together. Robert managed to make a stocking for Sauntina to open!


Mom, Dad and David Staddon came to help with the girls for two weeks in January while I continued recovering. Esther often watched the girls so I could grab a nap or rest on the couch. We are so blessed to be surrounded by family and I do not take this for granted!


Jan 14

Exhort One Another

While we were home for Thanksgiving, we enjoyed spending a little time with Josh & Lisa Wilkes and their son Josiah Bradford. Josh has been a good friend for many years and I appreciate him consistently encouraging me to grow in my love for the Lord. This is important for all of us to do on a regular basis, as it says in Hebrews 3:13: “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”


Nov 13

The Musical Snow Globe

Nov 13

Getting ready for Christmas!

With Canadian Thanksgiving behind us, and some vacation plans in the near future, we decided to decorate early so we could enjoy the wonderful Christmas traditions and joys… and watch our little girl experience these delights here at home. So up went the tree this weekend while Marilee watched from the couch! It was so much fun to see the awe and wonder on Sauntina’s face as she saw the Christmas lights on the tree and snowflakes on windows and mirrors!

Katherine came to visit for the week, bearing delicious apples from Michigan to freeze for pies and crisps during the winter!






Nov 13

Sisterly love!

Sauntina loves her new sister!



Oct 13

Little Marilee…

Here’s a few pictures of our newest adventure, sweet baby Marilee!

Latest family picture


Sauntina loves her new sister and always wants to give her kisses! When I lay Marilee on the ground to change her diaper, Sauntina either lays down on her stomach to give her a kiss or bends in half to reach down to her (oh! to be that flexible!). It’s so precious to see them together!


I’m not sure what type of dream Marilee was having here when I went to check on her yesterday…is she raising her hands in worship? Pretending to be a giant cuddly bunny? Or is she the wolf in Red Ridinghood?


Loving this new phase in life!

Oct 13

How Sweet to Hold

How sweet to hold a newborn baby, and feel the pride and joy she brings…but greater still that calm assurance ~ this child can face uncertain days because He lives!


Oct 13

Welcome, Marilee Grace!

Little Marilee Grace joined us this morning at 9:10 AM, weighing 7 lbs 1oz, and 20″ long! Mama & baby are doing well, Daddy said he’s tuckered out, and Sauntina is mesmerized by this new life!


Marilee: This is a combination of her Grandma’s names: Marilyn Kowalchuk & Donna Lee Staddon. We pray that Marilee will follow their godly examples by trusting in the Lord with all of her heart so that she can give thanks with a merry heart in every situation.

Grace: The wonderful free gift of God’s grace is often misunderstood in our day. As John MacArther wrote, “Grace does not grant permission to live in the flesh; it supplies power to live in the Spirit.” Our desire is that Marilee will allow God’s power to flow through her life as she grows in grace and in the knowledge of Him.

Sep 13

40 Week Reflections…

This is a new experience for me…actually making it to the due date! Hello, 40 weeks! Because everything has been slower than it was with Sauntina (who came two weeks early), it’s given me much time to reflect, anticipate, and have a new awe for my Lord.

I’ve been pondering what is to come in bringing this little one into the world. It won’t be fun, it will be painful, and yet it must be done. Isn’t that how it was with Jesus in Gethsemane? He sweated drops of blood because He knew what was coming, knew the intense pain required of Him, realized the separation that would occur from His Father as He bore the sins of all, and yet went through with it because it was the only way we could become part of the family of God. What I will experience is so much less than what He went through, yet this time of waiting has made me even more grateful for a taste of the love He had for us and the willingness to suffer for His children. I’m willing to go through labor for the joy of getting to know and hold my baby…and Jesus anticipates the same from us.

Thank you, Jesus, for Your sacrifice and for knowing the exact date our little one will arrive!