Friday, May 29, 2009

Kieren's World

Hey people,

Wow, time is flying by in the world of Kieren! It is unbelievable how much she is growing! This week was really fun with her because she rolled over all by herself for the first time - from her stomach to her bath! She was a bit surprised but I'm sure my squealing didn't help :) Also, she has really started to giggle and laugh and so Casey and I will stop at nothing to keep it going once the laughs have begun. I feel like she just is growing more independent, aware of her world, and just all-around happy about her life. She is very loved by so many, so I'm glad she is enjoying it!

Motherhood continues to be quite a journey. There is so much joy at watching Kieren grow and learn, and I melt at the way she responds and smiles to me. I know that personally I am growing each day as I learn how to be a better mother and love and support her in the best way. It's such a difficult task in balancing the rest of our world - as a wife and with all the other projects in our life. We just take it one day at a time, and I really want to focus on the many, many blessings we have. We have a beautiful life, and sometimes I have to step back in the hard and frustrating moments and remember that. Don't we all?

Africa plans are continuing to move forward, and it's definitely getting more and more real. Our house is getting empty as we are packing boxes to move, store, and sell. Next weekend we will join our neighborhood in a huge yard sale and sell TONS of our belongings. Come out if you are interested in seeing our junk or just saying hey!

Oh, and Kieren will be dedicated at our church this weekend in the 11:00am service. We are very excited about it, as it is a chance to publicly declare our intention to raise her in a household that shows her the love of God and as we invite our church to partner with us.

Lots of love to you all!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A very happy Memorial Day


We are so thankful to have just had a beautiful Memorial Day weekend. We took Kieren for a swim at Chris and
Karen Latta's pool on Friday, then went to the Book family lake house at Lake Gaston on Saturday. Kieren is loving the water and being outside in this sunny weather! Then on Sunday I surprised Casey with a stay at the North Hills Renaissance hotel for the night to celebrate our 7th year anniversary - and no Kieren! The Bonner family was gracious to keep her for the night, and we certainly enjoyed the uninterrupted sleep. It was a beautiful place and a great night to celebrate our many blessings. Monday was both our 7th year wedding anniversary and my 29th birthday. So much fun!

The above pics are Kieren in her 'swim attire,' and her getting a hug from our friend, Rachel Walton!


Monday, May 25, 2009

Going out in Style...

Well, I certainly went out in style. But, I remind you, not all style is good style!!
Sunday, May 17, was my final Sunday night Youth Group at Grace. We'll be around the whole summer but we don't have Youth Group during the summer, so it was a big night for me. Sass surprised me by making it an even bigger deal when he invited parents, former students, and former leaders to the night.

There I was with 300-350 people in the audience preparing for my final message. We had been in a series called "The Road Ends Here" and this final message was "The Road Beyond". I was encouraging the students to live with eternity in mind. To break free from only considering life here on earth. That when we live with eternity in mind our actions, decisions, and lives look different. I used the story in Mark 14 of the woman that breaks the alabaster jar filled with perfume and poured it on Jesus' head. This woman held something of value in that jar, but she didn't allow that to stop her from lavishing it on Jesus. She seemed to live with eternity in mind, so she didn't care how much the perfume was worth, and she was criticized for it.
So, then I broke out my own "alabaster jar", just a simple little potpourri jar. I filled it with the notes that listed the things that I valued as a student and that I value now. After I referenced the woman's attitude again towards the thing of value, I encouraged us to break free of living small, earth-focused lives and instead breaking free to bigger, heavenly-focused lives. When I did this, for dramatic effect, I slammed down my jar on the little table holding my notes. Well, that's when things got a bit hairy. I looked down at my hand and noticed that a shard of the jar had decided to enter my hand. I pulled it out and at once I started bleeding pretty severely. I had about a two-inch long gash where my thumb and palm come together. I commented "that was not my best move" and tried to continue my talk. Somebody handed me a tissue. I was almost done and was convinced I could soldier through. However, the mix of embarrassment, not having eaten much, and the blood loss put me on a road towards passing out. I started sweating profusely and getting a bit light headed. I felt like the world was coming in on me as the room got darker and my words seemed to get stuck in my own head. Probably about 30-60 seconds before I truly would have passed out Sass and some other leaders came on stage and got me to sit down (and eventually lay down). Sass suggested that people could come back another time to hear me finish, but I knew that would never happen. So, I told Sarah that she had to finish my talk. I struggled off of the stage, they wrapped my hand up, and Sarah did an awesome job finishing my talk.
I got to stay for the rest of the night and hear a few leaders share and then watch a slide show of old pictures and videos that Sass put together of my time there at Grace. 

Afterwards, Woo and Sass took me to the emergency room and after quite a wait I got 6 stitches to close my wound. Adam Herod and Nick Murad came to hang in the waiting room with us.

So, I definitely went out in style. I don't think anybody will forget that night. I'm just hoping that people actually remember what I was trying to communicate! The whole night was humbling in all sorts of ways. It was so humbling to have all those people come to share that night with me. It was just so amazing to feel like a lot of people had really appreciated that ministry that I tried to do there at Grace. And, of course it was really humbling to make a fool out of myself. I’m thankful for the time that God has given me at Grace. For the people that I’ve been able to serve and serve with. And for the ways that He’s used me, even when I’ve felt ill-equipped or not good enough. Grace has been an amazing community to serve withing. They have trusted me, given me freedom, and allowed me to push students towards Jesus in the ways that I saw fit. It’s been a real blessing!
If you would like to see the the song/video that Jeff Cash wrote for me click here:
If you would like to read my notes from the talk:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Trip to Blowing Rock

Hello Everyone!

This week I had a special trip with my mom to Blowing Rock, NC, which are in the North Carolina mountains. We stayed in a cute, little house, took hikes, ate great food, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and had a great time with Kieren. It was so wonderful!



Monday, May 18, 2009

Kieren Update - Four Months!

Hey everyone!

Wow, SO much has been going on these days, sorry there haven't been too many updates! Kieren is growing so much and I feel like there are new things happening every day with her. She had her four-month pediatrician appointment today and it went great. Bad news was another round of shots which made her VERY mad, but she handled it well afterwards even with a fever! She is healthy, growing well, and hitting all of the expected milestones. I was so proud as the nurse was asking me all the questions, 'can she hold a toy?' or 'does she hold her hands?' Yes! Woo hoo! She is 15 pounds, 15 ounces which puts here in the 90% for her weight. Still a chunker, but growing at a normal rate. Her length and head size are also large-and-in-charge - she needs room for her huge brain! We got the ok to start feeding her rice cereal - food here we come! She tried it tonight and definitely wasn't feeling it at first, but then ate it all (it was just a tiny bit). I think she is going to like this new world of food - she is adventurous already! It was super cute and fun to see food all over her face.

Kieren is getting more and more alert, holding her head and neck up so well, and focusing so much on ALL the people around her. She is 'talking' and making sounds all the time - she is going to have so much to say. A highlight of the past week was Kieren's first swim in a pool at our friends the Latta's. She sat in a baby float in her little polka-dot halter bathing suit and LOVED it! The family took pics and we will post them soon - it was ADORABLE.

Life is beautiful and we continue to soak it up! Love you all!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Time with the Grandparents


Just wanted to share a few pics from the weekend - we had a visit with the grandparents and had a great time! Kieren is always so entertaining!


Hide Your Kids...

This video made me laugh today - an epidemic sweeping our nation and affecting kids everywhere...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to a really great mom!! Sarah is a fantastic mom and it's so much fun watching her interact with Kieren. They have a special bond. I so look forward to watching their relationship continue to develop. I hope it's a good first Mother's Day for Sarah!

Friday, May 8, 2009



We just wanted to congratulate our friends David and Amy Matzer who were married last weekend and will return soon from their honeymoon. We were privileged to be a part of their wedding as Casey was the best man and I helped to officiate the ceremony. They are such an amazing couple and we are so excited for all God has in store for them!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More Milestones....

Hey there!

Life in the Prince home continues to stay interesting. There have been a couple more milestones for us lately! Last weekend (after I battled through a horrible cold/flu) Kieren got her first cold! Boo! She was so congested and feverish; it was SO sad! For two days she was really miserable and could barely sleep. I think it even hurt her throat to burp (seriously, she fought it so hard!!). It was pretty hard for her, but it was a tough few days for me because there was little we could do for her. Pretty exhausting! BUT, she has turned the corner and is feeling better, even though she is still a bit sick. She is a trooper! Also, I had my first 'accident' with Kieren when I accidentally hit her head on a counter as I was standing up from the kitchen floor. It left a mark on her head and she went CRAZY crying! It was awful!! We are all happy again now, but it's been tiring. Seriously, why didn't someone tell me how HARD this all was going to be?? I'm just kidding obviously, but I am learning this week that parenthood is messy, BUT if you hold on, the hard moments pass and become the fun and beautiful moments again. I am learning patience and to embrace all the good when it is in the present. Kieren, in the midst of this all, is learning to talk and use her voice more and more and is really beginning to grasp rings and toys. It's so fun! She is sitting up well and enjoying life! Today we went to a toy store called Tookie's Toys that had a woman named Cookie singing to a group of moms and babies and Kieren loved it! She loves music and even loves when I sing to her. Too cute!

Life is full and we are just hanging on as it changes every moment. We are so blessed!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Time with Casey's Family

Hey there!

Just wanted to share some pictures from a visit LAST weekend (just got the pics) from Casey's sister, Kristy Coughlin. She came in to see little miss Kieren and we had a great time together. We are blessed to have such a wonderful family!


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Family Pictures


We have had a fun weekend so far and were able to take some pictures together as a family - just thought we would share! We are loving this warm weather, and had a fun wedding we were both a part of - great excuse to dress up Kieren :)