Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Merry Christmas 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

Chances are you are here after Christmas since it wasn't until after the new year that we finally got our "Christmas cards" out - haha. But sure glad you're here! It's been a wonderful year and we're so grateful that you are in our lives and that we are blessed with this fantastic technology that lets us keep up with what's going on with you!

A lot of exciting things happened this year. Let's start with Dwight.

Dwight began his "Master's Adventure" just a few months before Becca was born back in 2010. Aside from spending time with the family and work, Dwight spent the majority of his time this year finishing school and we are so happy to announce that he graduated early December with his "Master of Science in Space Systems" degree! A lot of blood, sweat and literal tears (mostly mine) went into this degree and his 4.0 GPA was well deserved. Amid working so hard to get that finished, Dwight also transitioned to a new division within NASA. He enjoyed his 5 years in Logistics and feels that he gained valuable knowledge that will help him along his career path. This new opportunity brings him to Avionics Engineering for Expendable Launch Vehicles with the new job title of Aerospace Technologist in Aerospace Flight Systems/Avionics and Flight Control Engineer. It's some pretty crazy stuff and he absolutely loves it! In the next year we expect he'll be doing more traveling but also spending a lot more recreational time with family since he'll be taking at least a year off from the crazy study/homework hours he puts in while in school. He talks about camping with Jonah, and dinner dates with Becca and lazy nights in the backyard around the firepit with me. We haven't had a chance to spend much time at the beach this last year either so expect to being hearing all about that in our next Christmas letter!

I (Peggy) have had my share of busy-ness this year. As always, the majority of  my time is spent playing with my babes and I'm so grateful and blessed to be able to do that. I still sing with a couple of singing ensembles and have been relatively active in the local community theater performing in 4 productions this year! I also started working one day a week at a massage establishment to help me upkeep my massage license. I really enjoy the work I do and am overjoyed to have found such an uplifting place to work that allows me to continue to be a stay-at-home mom for the most part. Watching the kids grow up is bitter-sweet for me. I love each moment as they grow and I look forward to seeing what amazing things they'll do with their lives...but starting this next year I'll have to begin my journey of letting my babies go since Jonah will start school followed closely behind by Becca. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with myself when they're gone part of the day. But in the meantime - and always - I do my best to enjoy every moment!

Jonah has grown into an even more handsome little man. He's tall and lean and always has a smile on his face. Almost overnight, it seems, he began talking very clearly and really understands what is going on. He'll be 4 in January and likes to tell everyone how he's going to grow up big and strong like his daddy and his daddy will grow up big and strong like him. He enjoyed his first soccor season at the YMCA this past fall. At first he was more interested in the butterflies than in the ball, but by the last game he was running up and down the field with the rest of his friends. He even ended up making a goal! He began doing a lot of drawing this year and many of his sketches really amaze us. He's developing a very vivid imagination too. He loves to build things with his mega blocks and tells us great stories about them! They are almost always food related buildings. He's made his first imaginary friend but would much rather spend his time with his real friends and making new ones. He is a very sweet little guy. He's always ready for some cuddle time. He likes to help out with cooking and is getting better about being kind to his sister. He has the kindest heart and seems to be loved by everyone he greets. We sure love our little man!

Becca has just blossomed this last year. We gets comments quite often about how beautiful she is. Many people say she looks like a little porcelain doll. Aside from being a gorgeous little 2  year old, she's also very sharp. We always thought Jonah was so smart (and still do) but Becca just blows us away! She basically taught herself how to potty train much earlier than we were planning on tackling it. She knows her abc's and counts almost as well as Jonah does. She also loves to play with blocks, but her favorite thing to do it play dress up, especially with hats. She spends a good portion of her day changing from one hat to another. We keep a good supply of hats around because if she doesn't have a real one, she will make one out of whatever she can find. Often times a dinner plate with dinner still on it will end up on her head accompanied by a very proud smile. She is a great smiler as well and always seems excited about what is going on. We call her our little sunshine and just love having her in our family!

As a family, we made a very special trip this year. Dwight's 10 year reunion from the Merchant Marine Academy on Long Island in New York was this last September so we decided to make it an extended vacation to include a week in New York and a week in Boston. It was a wonderful trip! We were blessed with beautiful weather, happy kids, and plenty of socializing with old and new friends. You'll have to check back on the blog in the next month or so when I finally get pictures up of the amazing adventure.

This next year is one we really look forward to. The kids are a little older. Dwight and I are a little less busy. We have nothing major planned other than to just spend a lot of time together. We plan to spend more time outside working on the square foot gardens that I've been prepping this past year for and we hope to be adding 5 chickens to our family in the next month or so. A big change that we've been gradually making is our health habits. We've been choosing much better options when we grocery shop and are much more aware of what effects our bodies and how we can avoid the things that adversely effect our health. We are no where near where we want to be with that -- there are a lot of habits we have to wean ourselves from,  but we're looking forward to being even better at that this next year.

This year, and every year, I'm so happy to reflect back and recognize how we are always being blessed with opportunities to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ and are always seeking his Spirit to be in our home and a part of our lives. Their love brings so much joy and hope to our family and we pray that you and everyone we love will feel the same joy that comes from the knowledge that Jesus lives and loves us and through Him, we can be with our families forever!

We're still so grateful to be able to stay in touch with so many wonderful friends and family. We love that you are a part of our lives. We pray that each of you have a joyful year and that we continue to stay close even if we are far apart. As always, let us know if you are ever in our neck of the woods. You always have a place to stay here.

Love always,
The Renshaw clan
Dwight, Peggy, Jonah and Becca

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Thoughts About Growing Up

Jonah has been doing so well at being a "big boy" (aka-keeping his underwear dry) that I decided to take him to the zoo today. I usually don't attempt this feat by myself, but I decided to try. It was awesome! The kids were so good. I even braved the splash park by myself! Just call me Super Mom!

I had a few thoughts today as I was hanging out with my two precious children. I realized that my kiddos are growing up. I also realized that I'm really not heart broken over it. Sure, I get those moments of being overwhelmed by how quickly the time has passed and I miss the ages they will never be again, but I don't have that yearning for time to rewind like I usually do.

Anyone who knows me well knows that this is weird for me. Usually I'm a mess of red-eyed blubbering at even the smallest moment of reminiscing. So when I realized this, I spent some time really thinking about it. I don't know that I'll ever make sense of it, but I enjoyed watching my big boy and precious girl doing big kid things and not needing to put my sunglasses on to try to hide my bloodshot eyes.

A good friend of mine, actually, she was my good friend and boss before I had Jonah, had given me some very sound advice before he was born. "Enjoy every moment". It really sounds like a simple thing - maybe even a cliche - but I took it to heart. At some point I had made the decision that I was going to do just that: enjoy every moment I can with these precious spirits that I'm being blessed with. And while I know I can always do better living up to that mantra - I sure try.

And I wonder, did it make all the difference? Did my attempts at appreciating every little moment I have with my children help prevent me from being sad that those moments passed? It almost seems a little bit backward. Shouldn't I miss those moments because I experienced them so fully? For me, however, I believe this to be a tender mercy from a loving Heavenly Father. I am so grateful to him that I'm able to look at my children climbing ropes and swimming under water and be excited for what the future holds rather than what I'm going to miss about them being little. I think He knew that it would be hard for me to not hold on to the past so He is helping me enjoy as many seconds as I can so that when I look back on my little ones growing up, I wont feel as though I missed anything.

Don't know if my random musings make any sense. But I'm sure grateful for them. Don't get me wrong - if I could freeze my beautiful baby girl and boy so that they stay as sweet and little as they are now, I would! But I think I'm going to handle them growing into the amazing people Heavenly Father sent them here to become much better than I thought I would. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Close to Heaven - a story about my sweet Jonah

 From the very beginning, I've always felt that my children were very special children of God, sent here to fulfill important roles. I think every mom and dad out there understands what I mean. These spirits being sent to us are so incredibly special and loved by our Heavenly Father. Once in a while, something will happen that will remind me of those thoughts and feelings.

I remember the first time this happened. It was when Jonah was being blessed. He was sound asleep when I gave him to my brother, Jim, to receive his name and blessing. He was only a few months old. It was a beautiful blessing, as they all are. And of course, I'm crying during the whole thing. But not Jonah. He didn't make a peep. I figure he just kept on sleeping. I found out later from Jim that he actually woke up and looked into Jim's eyes the whole time. When the blessing was over, he closed his eyes again and was completely out when he was handed back to me. I often wonder if he knew what was being said and understood the importance of being able to complete his mission on earth, whatever it is. And when those words were being spoken, it was as if he was paying close attention and accepting the blessings he was receiving. Most likely he was just enjoying listening to his uncle's voice...but just maybe...

There's been other times when I'm just floored by something Jonah says or does that leaves no doubt in my mind that he is close to the Spirit.

This morning I had one of those moments. It may seem like a normal 3 year old conversation, but there was something about it that made it different and special. And I want to point out that Jonah loves oatmeal, especially when there's strawberries in it.

Here's more or less how the conversation went:

"wanna go see Jesus!"
"Jonah, while we're on earth, we can't see Jesus. But we can feel him right here" (pointing to his heart)
after a little while...
"Jesus up high in the sky!"
"That's right! He's up in Heaven so that he can watch all of us and take care of us."
"Want go high in the sky like a rocket ship to Jesus!"
nothing much I can say to that so I just give him a kiss because I just love how sweet his is.
"Want Jesus eat strawberries!"
"I'm sure Jesus would love to eat strawberries. He created them so I'm sure he loves them"
"Want Jesus eat oatmeal!"
"Jesus created oatmeal too. I'm sure he's very happy that you're eating all the healthy food he created for you!" (I say things like this once in a while to help him to want to eat healthy. Yeah, I'm one of "those" moms)
"Want spoon for Jesus!" as he raises his spoon as high as he can
"Want share oatmeal with Jesus!"
"Honey, Jesus can't share your oatmeal with you right now. But that's very kind of you to want to share with Him."
"Please, Jesus!! Have spoon!"

What can I do at this point but watch him strain as hard as he can to get the spoon up high while he's looking up and pleading with Jesus to share some strawberry oatmeal with him. The look on his face was so sweet and loving. I had a thought that if I wasn't able to find the yellow spoon again, I wouldn't be surprised.

I give him another kiss on his head and tell him that Jesus loves him so much.
And he looked at me and said "I love Jesus". I think that look will be one I always remember. I only see it when we talk about Heavenly Father and Jesus, and its a look that reminds me of how incredibly special and loved these little ones are. And I think Jonah knows it too. I think he's closer to Heaven than I even realize. I just pray every day that I can somehow help keep him stay close so that he can make the right decisions and live his life to its fullest. I can't wait to see what Jonah - and Rebecca!- are going to be able to accomplish while they're here. Heavenly Father sure sent me two of his best!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Merry Christmas Friends and Family!
We hope you are happy, healthy and enjoying the end of another great year!
2011 has been a crazy year for us Renshaws – as apparent from my lack of a homemade Christmas card – but we’ve been enjoying every busy moment!
Here’s a short recap of what’s going on with everyone:
Dwight just completed his 3rd semester of grad school . He’s working toward his Masters Degree in Space Systems. He’s really enjoying all the things that he is learning and is excited about how he’ll be able to apply them throughout his career with NASA. This year, the Space Shuttle has begun its retirement. It was a bittersweet experience to be able to see the final launch, but Dwight is really looking forward to being a part of what is coming next in the future of “Manned Space Flight”. Between helping to retire the Shuttle, working on the logistics for the new programs and taking two courses each semester for school, Dwight stays pretty busy. But he takes every opportunity he can to play with the kids and spend quality time with me. His hobbies and grass mowing have had to take a bit of a backseat while he’s doing school, but family is still his #1 priority.
I (Peggy) am still enjoying every second of at staying home with the kids. It is such a blessing! I am also blessed with the opportunity to sing in two ensembles, Broadsteet, a soon-to-be-complete octet, and Soliloquy, a trio that’s about to become a women’s quartet. Dwight really encourages and supports me in being a part of those groups and strengthening my talents. I never feel burnt out from spending the majority of my days with kids since I get to look forward to rehearsals, performances, MOPS group meetings and playdates with some amazing friends! If I have a few spare moments I try to get caught up on my craft projects and reading.
Jonah, who will be 3 in January, is quickly becoming the funnest, most intelligent and handsome little man there ever was! I don’t think our days can ever be dull when they begin with his sweet little voice singing “Good Morning to You”! Some of his other favorite songs are ABC’s, Hugga Bugga Boo, Families Can Be Together Forever, and most recently Santa Claus is coming to town and Jingle Bells. And along with the singing comes plenty of dancing. He also loves anything to do with rocket ships (including Buzz Lightyear who is his hero), trains, bubbles and Mickey Mouse. He loves going to parks and has asked Santa for a swing set (which Santa will hopefully be able to get put together before Christmas). He has several little friends he gets to play with on a regular basis. We love our playdates! And he says the sweetest little prayers. In fact, he’ll let me know if I have forgotten to say a “prayer Heavenly Father”. We are very lucky parents to have him in our family!
Becca, who just turned 1 on 11-11-11, raced through her first year of life! We can’t believe how fast it’s gone and how quickly she’s grown! She is such a beautiful little girl, and so smart! She started mimicking us very early and mastered her fine motor skills before she was even rolling over. She’s not very interested in walking just yet, but she tries very hard to do most everything else that she sees her big brother doing, including singing (it’s so sweet to hear her melodic coos) and playing with our dog, Sahara. She absolutely adores her Daddy, but doesn’t like to be held by anyone but Mommy if she’s in the same room as me. Occasionally I can get her to keep a headband on, but more often I’ll just opt for the pig tails because they are harder to pull out. One day she may tell us that she’s done with ribbons and flowers, but until then, I love playing dress-up with my beautiful baby girl. She has got quite a personality, very strong and very fun. She’s definitely our little princess. We can’t imagine our family without her!
This has been a very happy year for us. We’ve loved every moment of watching our two little ones grow and learn and develop their beautiful personalities. We’ve strengthened relationships with old friends, have made some new ones and have spent time some quality time with our extended families even though they live far away. We’ve done a little bit of traveling including a trip to AZ for Becca’s blessing at the beginning of the year and other one for my brother Cody’s wedding last month. Dwight and I had an opportunity to go on a cruise in October without the kids. It was the shortest cruise we have ever been on (3 nights) but we couldn’t wait to get back to our sweet kids. We are so blessed to be able to have friends who allow us to go on dates and trips as a couple, but we always look forward to being back with Jonah and Becca when they’re over.
This next year we have a couple of exciting events to look forward to. We’ll be doing the East Coast road trip that we’ve been talking about for years so that we can attend Dwight’s 10 year King’s Point reunion. We’re also toying with the idea of spending a week with some friends in a cabin sometime around next Christmas so that the kids might actually get to see what real snow is like. Other than that, next year will hopefully just be another wonderful year of growing closer as a family while our watching our children grow taller and smarter.  We feel truly blessed in our lives, relationships and testimonies of our Savior, Jesus Christ and how His Gospel helps us find true joy!
We hope that this next year brings you many blessings and that we are always able to keep in touch. Remember, you always have a place to stay when you come down to Florida!
Lots of Love,
Dwight, Peggy, Jonah and Rebecca

Monday, November 21, 2011

What's going on!?

And here we are - almost at the end of the year! Time for an update!

Becca turned a year old a little over a week ago. We decided to wait until she is 2 to have her big party with friends. So this year we spent the day at Disneyworld with her Grammy and Grandpa Hal. It was a perfect day!
She started crawling just after she turned 10 months. What a relief! We took her in to get evaluated to see if she needed physical therapy just as Jonah did. She qualified for the program but since she is moving so much more than Jonah was, I declined. I think she'll be just fine - maybe a little late in her gross motor skills - but just fine.
She is the cutest little girl. She loves playing games. Her favorite is "copy my sound". It's so easy to get a smile out of her - all you have to do is make whatever sound she is making and she lights up! She also has the sweetest little laugh I've ever heard! We love it when she's happy. And most of the time she is. But when she's not happy about something, she'll let you know! But her happy moments are worth the effort of finding what it is she's not happy about and fixing it. She is an especially loved little girl. What a year its been!
Jonah has decided that Becca is pretty cool after all. This is a good thing because Becca would love nothing more than to follow Jonah around all day and play with him. Once Jonah gets use to sharing, I'll think they'll be the best of friends!
As for Jonah - what an amazing little man we have! He talks so well and is so well mannered. Yes, we have finally hit the terrible twos - but those moments are few and far between, and fortunately don't last long. He just wants to be happy!
We recently got him an indoor slide for the playroom and he spends most of his day on it. I love to listen to him sing and slide. It's gotten him more active, that's for sure. Once in a while he'll still find a book and read for a while, which is great! But he doesn't spend as much time in front of the tv as he use to, which is even better! I think he was just bored of all the baby toys. Go figure!
Jonah's most favorite things right now, aside from his slide, are spaceships, Buzz Lightyear, and Mickey Mouse. It's so fun to watch him start making his own choices as to what he wants to do, what toys he wants to sleep with, what songs he wants to dance to, and all the other stuff that we use to choose for him. I can't believe how quickly he's growing!

Dwight is doing well in his 3rd semester of Grad School. He'll have a little bit of a break soon before he starts his capstone. I really don't know what that means, but apparently its important and he's looking forward to it being over with.
As for me, I'm loving spending as much time with my two special friends and my hubby as I can. I get my outlets: singing in choirs, the occasional massage, and spending time with a few of my amazing friends.
I feel really blessed.
Here are some pictures of what we've been up to the last few months (out of order of course, because this is blogspot after all :)


Happy Birthday, beautiful Becca!

This is a picture at Disneyworld where we let Becca have her first piece of cake. It wasn't as messy as it could have been, but she sure loved it!
Jonah is not that crazy about Becca touching his things - but he gets over it very quickly. He gets better at sharing every day!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

These kids are growing up way too fast!

I can not believe how quickly my two little friends are growing up! So much has been happening lately.
Jonah is now completely potty-trained and climbs all over the playground like a big boy. Becca says "dada", has two teeth and can sit up for about 20 seconds on her own. It wont be long before Becca is helping Jonah catch grasshoppers and then we'll wake up one day and be dealing with graduations and weddings. I can barely handle it!
Fortunately, I received some very good advice before I became a mom - Enjoy Every Moment! And Dwight and I have lived by that advice these past 2 1/2 years.
Though time is moving so much faster than we would like it to, we are doing everything we can to make it so that we never will get to a point in our life where we say we wish we had spent more timing enjoying our children grow. We are loving every single minute we have with Jonah and Becca!
Here are some pictures of a few of the things we've done recently. Disclaimer - the blogger put all the pictures out of order but they're all still cute :)

Jonah LOVES the park. A 4 year old taught him how to climb up some of the scarier stairs but he took to it like a pro! All I have to do is hang out under the shade with Becca and watch Jonah run up and down the playground - always with a big smile on his face.

Jonah also LOVES the beach! Becca hasn't quite taken to it yet, but it took Jonah a while too. I'm glad we live so close to the ocean. They've got a lot of fun times ahead of them.

One of my new favorite pictures

This is Jonah's 'before' picture - before he got his first "professional" haircut.

This is Jonah's 'after' picture. Isn't he SO handsome!

Bubbles are still one of Jonah's most favorite thing. Now he knows how to blow them himself!
Becca is learning how to sit and jump in this toy. She loves it!

And here is our little Becca sitting up all by herself!

And here's the 'during' his haircut picture. He did so good!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Another catch-up January through April

I'm so not good at staying on top of my blog. But I'm good at catching up :) Here's some fun stuff that we've been up to the last few months.

Trip to Arizona in January
Jonah had so much fun playing with his cousins. We all love being able to spend time with family.

No fear!

Becca and her cousin, Quinton

Why talk when we can play Uno against each other on our iphones!

The world's best baby holder - Lexi!

My brother loves my kids. This picture makes my heart happy.

Jonah and Grandpa Hal

Yay cousins!

Becca had her baby blessing while we were in Arizona. The blanket is the traditional Lutz family blessing blanket that all of my brothers and sisters and almost everyone one of my neices and nephews have been blessed in. The dress is the one I was blessed in that my mom had made for me. Her cap is a special blessing cap that turns into a blessing hankie and her bracelet was made special for her by her Aunt Misti.

Jonah and cousin, Avery

Before coming home we spent some time in Tucson.

Yeah, these pictures aren't in order. Here's Becca with her blessing shawl on as well. Grammy made that one too.

January 14th my little man turned TWO!!!

This big guy use to fit in my tummy!!!

Jonah LOVES his sister

Tucson again...seriously - how did these get so badly out of order...

Everything's a hat!

Happy 6th Anniversary to us on January 21st!

Brevard County Zoo with Jonah's best bud, Isaac. Jonah really likes the animals so we hope to go as often as possible :)

Jonah needed his daddy :)

Becca started holding things in her hands
Met Daddy for a picnic at the park after work

Jonah loves helping Daddy with projects around the house. It's so cute

The zoo again...

Funny story - we wanted to watch "Extreme Home Makeover" because our friend's family was getting a new house. But the antennae wasn't working so I had to hold it at a very particular angle while sitting in the middle of the room. Good times :)

Becca and I got to take a trip to visit Aunt Shannon and her family in Nashville, Tennessee for a long weekend trip.

Haha - more of Jonah helping Daddy

And back to the Tennessee trip

St Patrick's Day. He makes some of the cutest faces

Tennessee again - my cute little nephew who played a super awesome turtle in his school play!

Jonah's new favorite place...the beach!

Some of our friends joined us for a pancake party to celebrate Dwight's 31st birthday in March and taught me how to make a proper pancake!

This is cracks me up...and we're back at the beach...

And back to the pancake party again. lol. These are some of my most favoritist people :) It was a way fun party...and I actually learned out to make good pancakes!

I think I picked the wrong picture - but this one is so cute I'll keep it :)

Jonah got a visit from the Easter bunny!

Oh my goodness! Well...here's proof that my pancakes now rock...

And we're back to Easter again - lol. This is Becca and her good friend Owen. Owen's big brother is Jonah's best bud Isaac - it's all connected :)

Jonah and Isaac checking out their prizes from the easter egg hunt.

I think Jonah and Becca are gonna become great friends!

Happy Easter!

Alright, so that was a quick, very unorganized, update on the last few months. Life is great with our little family. Becca and Jonah keep growing and learning. They are so much fun and make out lives so full and happy. We are truely blessed!