This Sunday our happy little boy turned 5 months old! He continues to be a sweet and easy boy – and very, very happy! He loves smiling and laughing. He loves playing on his tummy and has started grabbing things. He doesn’t stay still long and turns himself around on his tummy and inches forward every once and awhile. He is irresistible!
Ezra is very interested in what others are doing or eating. He likes to play and be around all his siblings. Clara is teaching him to to wrestle.
So glad this precious little boy is ours!
And now for the 5-month comparison pictures. Note that I used Becca’s 7 month picture to adjust for her preemie size.
Christmas is a very special time for the Jarai Christians in Cambodia. Since Christmas is not an official holiday, it’s not celebrated in homes. The only place Christians celebrate is in the church. Many churches schedule their celebrations on different days so people (especially the youth) can attend each others’ Christmas events.
Our church began their celebration Friday night, December 21. They set up everything outside, since they knew the building wouldn’t hold everyone. There was a meal, sermon, and lots of singing. The next Saturday morning, December 22, our church met together for their morning Christmas celebration. The children’s group sang three songs I wrote for them – two of them were verses from Scripture that Josh translated with his team.
We helped the youth do a simple play. Two readers read Matthew chapters 1 & 2 while the actors preformed the story. The Jarai Bible Translation team had just finished translating those chapters in Matthew, so it was neat to see them put into immediate use.
Josh preached a sermon in Jarai from Matthew 2. Afterwards we had a meal together.
I made a pinata for the children, which they did after lunch was over. It was really fun to watch people participate (adults too). Josh and I laughed so hard our faces hurt.
A big thank you to the Pawleys who took many of these pictures, while I was up front helping.
Our family celebrated Christmas on December 24th and 25th. On Christmas Eve Josh took each kid out to buy Christmas presents at our local market. (Becca bought hers the week before when we were in Ban Lung.) Most of my Christmas Eve was spent baking and prepping food for the evening and the next day. Around 3PM we went out and delivered fruit and brownies to our neighbors and the families whose kids attend our Bible club. Afterwards we had our annual Christmas Eve dinner of Tacos, followed by drinking hot chocolate while we watched The Muppets Christmas Carol.
Christmas Day we had breakfast and then the kids did a Christmas play for us, directed by Becca. Afterwards the kids gave out their gifts. One of the highlights of Christmas for the kids is their buying/giving gifts. They are so excited!
Late morning, Om Puimeng came to visit with us. We had invited her for lunch. Before lunch we ate cinnamon rolls and sang Christmas carols and after lunch we played a game together.
Christmas dinner we had a buffalo roast with mashed potatoes and carrots. Afterwards the kids decorated their giant gingerbread person.
Becca performed her annual Little People Christmas Play. She quotes straight from Luke 2 and Matthew 3.
We finished out the evening with gifts from us to the kids. And
of course, singing carols and lighting the Advent candles. Merry Christmas!
We had a lovely day celebrating Christmas. Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll post about all our Christmas happenings. It’s a very full time of year for all the Jarai churches. and by the end of the season we’ll have attended over eight different village church events.
One special Christmas tradition we have is singing carols every evening after supper. Each night a different child gets to light and blow out the candles. Typically everyone gets to choose a carol to sing. It’s one of our favorite parts of the season.
This week Josh was gone Monday-Thursday to Phnom Penh, so we had to find some extra things to do! Monday night the kids had a big sleep-over next to the Christmas tree. (The tricky part is putting up mosquito nets.) Ezra and I slept in our own beds, but I did stay up and participate in all the party activities!
Last Sunday we had our Bible Club Christmas party. We started off with cookie decorating. Then we did singing and the Christmas story. We finished the event with three different water games. Everyone was very muddy by the time we were done! (Pictures taken by Jeff Davis.)
Today we celebrate Ezra’s 4 month birthday. Right after Ezra’s 3 month birthday, he started sleeping through the night. This has been a sweet gift to me, since the extra sleep is a great help for my daylight hours. Part of Ezra’s sleeping is due to his love for sucking his fingers…or hands. He just loves sucking on his fingers and it’s so cute so watch. He sometimes gags himself as he tries to get as many fingers as possible in his mouth. (After I wrote this post, Ezra decided to stop sleeping through the night. He’s been up at 2am every night this week.)
Ezra has started laughing and I could just listen to it all day. He usually ends by spitting up, very much like Isaiah did when he was a baby. It’s always amusing to see what he finds funny. The other day he kept laughing when I was practicing speaking Jarai to him. When I called Josh in to try, Ezra stopped laughing and listen very intently. I guess that tells you something about my ability to speak Jarai!
Last Friday we decorated for Christmas. We all had a fun time and the kids were so excited to put everything put. Clara got the honor of putting the star on the tree.
We took the kid’s picture in front of the tree. Josh told everyone to “make a Clara face!” I’m sure you can figure out which picture that is. Clara is the master of making grumpy faces during picture taking.
Becca made a huge clown pinata. We were planning just to have a round balloon shaped pinata, but somehow it evolved into a clown and we were both very pleased with it. Becca requested a horse brownie cake.
We played pin the tail-on-the-horse, did the pinata, sang our Khmer Bible verse songs, and had cake. Our friends brought stuff to face paint and were kept busy the entire party painting kids’ faces or arms. We’re so thankful that the Hodgsons could come. They were a big help with the party and with Clara (Ezra slept through the entire party).
The pictures to the right and left are of our friends from our church.
The best part of the day was Becca’s delight at the end of the day. She was so happy with how everything turned out and that was the best present for me!
This week we celebrated Becca’s 9th birthday! We started celebrating two weeks before her birthday with her birthday countdown calendar. This year it was themed on Walter Brook’s Freddy book, Freddy the Detective. Recently Becca has been joying reading through the Freddy books.
We had Becca’s yearly neighborhood party on Sunday afternoon. I’ll post pictures from that next week. For Becca’s birthday meal we had soft tacos, brownie cake (left over from her party), and did gifts. That night Becca got to stay up late with us. She chose to play Phase 10 and beat us both! A nice way to end her birthday!
Becca’s birthday pictures seem so much older than I think of her…she’s growing up. This year Becca has really grown in her love for reading. She’s often tucked away in a corner reading. She also has thanked me many times for teaching her how to read, now that she loves it so much. (This is especially meaningful since it was not always the most enjoyable part of our day.)
We’ve seen Becca grow in her ability to be thankful – she often thinks of specific ways to thank us for the things we do. She made thank you notes for all of us after her birthday. She’s very thoughtful and often makes me signs or posters telling me how much she loves us. Becca is creative in designing games and activities for her siblings to do and she loves leading them.
Becca has also grown in her ability to be content and delighted. It used to seem like there was always something that was a disappointment to her in the activities we would plan for her. Now Becca really focuses on the things she enjoyed and expresses her delight. We love seeing this spirit in her and it’s a big encouragement to us.
We’re so grateful for all God has done for Becca this past year and for the many ways we’ve seen her grow and mature. Thankful for God’s protection in her life. Thankful for our first and oldest daughter.
Ezra here – Daddy has been gone this week teaching at the Pastors’ Bible School and I’m here to report what mischief has been taking place. Most things are going on as normal, but some of the older kids are being more helpful than usual. However I don’t understand what’s been going no at nights.
Monday night Anna and Mommy stayed up while everyone went to bed. From my bed, I could smell nail polish and popcorn and I heard a lot of pages being turned. Later Anna slept on Daddy’s side of the bed. In the morning I saw no evidence of that anything unusual had taken place.
Tuesday night Isaiah and Mommy stayed up late while everyone else went to bed. Again, I heard popcorn, but this time it sounded like they were buying and charging each other rent. I also heard talk of going to jail. Whatever happened it sounded like Mommy ended up with all the loot. This time Isaiah slept on Daddy’s side of the bed – guess they both escaped jail!
On Wednesday night Becca and Mommy stayed up and did the popcorn and jail thing. I think Becca took all of Mommy’s money for I heard loud weeping from her before bed. Then Becca came in and slept on Daddy’s side of the bed.
Clara has been up early with Mommy and I think this morning they put cocoa powder in the coffee. I don’t think Clara or I will be sleeping on Daddy’s side of the bed. He’ll be home soon and I think Mommy looks pretty worn out from all the extra evening excitement. I’ve been making sure she gets up at 4am to give me detailed reports of the evenings!
Happy 3-months to our little man Ezra! Our boy is sweet and precious and has now reached a very nice season. For weeks we’ve been praying Ezra would learn to suck on his thumb. He loves to suck – but as of a few weeks ago had refused a pacifier and hadn’t mastered the knack of sucking on his thumb. Last week (or maybe two weeks ago) he started sucking on his pointer finger and we’ve noticed a difference in his sleeping. It’s so cute. He’s slept through the night (10-5am) the past to nights. So hopefully the finger sucking will be the key to sleeping.
Ezra has a strong neck and likes looking around. He is a super sweet smilier and likes to coo.
I finally made a collage comparing all five kids at age 3 months. (Becca looks smaller than the rest because she was a preemie.)
So thankful for our youngest man and for the health and development God has blessed him with.
On October 28, 2018 Isaiah pulled out his first tooth! A few weeks ago he noticed that it was loose and claimed he would pull it out that week. It wasn’t that loose. Later on the night of the 28th, while he was playing with his tooth in bed, he pulled it out. Unfortunately, once Isaiah saw the blood he spit into the sink, all the excitement disappeared and he claimed to be sick. Thankfully, he was more excited the next day when he found money under his pillow.
Right after I wrote the blog Isaiah pulled out his second tooth – November 7, 2018PM. This boy is the champ when pulling out teeth. We don’t even know until it’s done!
Happy 2-month birthday to our youngest Jensen man! Ezra has been doing great. He’s now tracking and you can definitely tell he’s paying more attention to what’s going on about him. Ezra is making sounds and sometimes get into a little conversation with me. He can also smile – which is so cute.
We’ve settled down into being a family of 7. No one had any major adjustment problems and it really doesn’t feel that different, except I’m now nursing a baby every 3 hours. The real game-changer will come when Ezra is mobile!
Last month Isaiah finished Level 1 of All About Reading! We are thrilled with his progress.
A few more pictures to end this birthday post for our youngest Jensen man. Love him! (And yes. it’s much harder to find time to take pictures these days.)
On August 28th we took a trip to the Bangkok Zoo. We read that the zoo was closing at the end of the week in preparation to move to another location over an hour away. Most taxi drivers refused to take us there, since they said it was already closed (“believe me” said one man). Interestingly enough we found an article that announced that the zoo was going to stay open another month and when we got there it was very busy with people – so much for it being closed.
We had a great time (well, Ezra was a bit grumpy). The seal show and African acrobat show were fun to watch. The kids enjoyed seeing all the animals – they even got to pet the giraffe and give a bottle of milk to the goats.
Toward the end of our time there we found a playground. Anna ended up slipping in some mud nearby and her shorts got very muddy. Josh took Anna and found a lady who showed them a hose and helped clean Anna up and completely wash and wring out her shorts. Then as we were walking away, the same lady found us on her moto. She had gone out and bought Anna a new dry outfit. We were so touched by her kindness and consideration to complete strangers.
It was a good, fun day. Thankful we could visit a zoo while in Bangkok!
On August 23rd we took a trip to the free Children’s Museum. A highlight was the splash pad. The kids also enjoyed the town area where there was a plane, firetruck, salon, TV station, grocery store, and a few other things. Ezra was not impressed!!
On August 17th and 30th we visited Funarium (a large indoor playground). Ezra and I stayed home the first time, since we had just returned from the hospital the day before. All the kids love it. Both Josh and I took turn running around too (I’ve had a great postpartum recovery).
A highlight this year was the above ground ropes course – including a zip line. Becca did it the first time and then both Becca and Isaiah did it the second time. We were so proud of them both, especially Isaiah who was very brave and thrilled with himself!
About a 20-minute walk from our guesthouse is a huge mall, Terminal 21. The mall is supposed to be a giant airport and each level is set up like a different famous world city: the Caribbean, Rome, London, Tokyo, Paris, Istanbul, and San Francisco (has two levels). The amazing thing is the bathrooms. They are beautiful and each patterned after the city.
Before Ezra was born, Becca and I took a special Mommy/Daughter trip to visit the mall for the first time. We were amazed. We rode lots of escalators and visited every bathroom! We stopped in San Francisco to eat ice cream at Swensen’s Ice Cream. Becca and I shared The Earthquake a 8-scoop sundae. (This was my last time to eat ice cream before Ezra was born…no more dairy products for me.)
Two weeks after Ezra was born, Anna and I took a Mommy/Daughter trip to the same place and enjoyed walking around for a bit and Anna had some ice cream.
We’ve been to the mall two other times to eat at Sunrise Taco (kids eat free on Mondays). And Brooke took the kids there two days after we got back from the hospital.
We are thrilled to announce that on Monday, August 27th, Ezra was declared a US citizen. The following Friday, the 30th, we picked up his one-year passport. We will be able to renew his passport for free when we are in the States next year. We are so thankful that the Lord allowed this process to take place in the time frame needed.
On the way the Ezra’s Embassy appointment we stopped at a park and had a picnic.
We enjoyed traveling different ways in Bangkok. Normally we take taxis, but we used the SkyTrain for a few trips and the water taxi. We only did the water taxi once as a whole family, as it is very tricky getting everyone on and off the taxi with no ramp – you just hop on and hop off!
Happy one month birthday to Ezra! Just last night I noticed that Ezra seems to be a bit more aware of seeing things. I love watching babies develop and am always anticipating their first smiles.
Ezra has adjusted to life in Cambodia. He’s getting less Mommy time, since I’m back to my normal responsibilities and don’t have time for extra-long holding sessions. (But we still cuddle lots.) His siblings all enjoy holding him. Anna is probably our best babysitter. When Ezra is crying she tries all sorts of positions to help him out. It’s so cute.
It’s hard to capture Ezra’s cuteness. He always seems to look huge in the pictures I take…but he’s really not chubby as this. I guess it’s just the position and camera angle.
Ezra is doing pretty well at going back to sleep after his night feedings. Sometimes he has to cry himself back to sleep when he won’t settle in my arms. I’m hoping he finds his thumb soon. Love this sweet little boy!
On August 8th (5 days before Ezra was born) we took a trip to Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World. We visited this aquarium when Clara was born last time we were in Bangkok and everyone was looking forward to going again. We were able to use Christmas money to sponsor our trip. Thankful for people’s generosity.
We had a great time seeing all the fish and other sea creatures. A highlight was the shark tunnel, where we walked through the shark, sting ray, and other large fish tank in a glass enclosed tunnel. The place where we could walk on top of the same area was a highlight as well.
What a special treat for our family, especially since we don’t have access to these kind of things in Cambodia. I love watching our children get so excited seeing everything. We love that we can visit special places while here for Ezra’s birth – it’s a special treat!