Play Time

Even in the midst of all our constuction we have created some space for the girlies to play while I make dinner. A few evenings ago, Mckenna and Selah were having such fun playing together. It's so cute to see them start to interact and make each other laugh!


Thanksgiving Day

I am just now getting around to posting some pictures from Thanksgiving.

This is Mckenna with her cousin, Constance.

After spending some time with Dave's moms family, we headed over to hang out with the Castros for the rest of the evening. Here is a picture of Selah Grace with her second cousin, Grace O'Halloran (Gracie). They were born 2 days apart, Selah on June 3, and Gracie on June 5. Gracie already knows to smile at the camera...pull it out and she is all smiles. Selah, on the other hand, has no idea what a camera is, as you can tell!

A group picture of the Castros!


Under Construction

Sorry we have been out of touch for awhile. We are a little under construction over here at the Castro house. At times I forget where my camera is or can barely get to it. So, I have not been taking too many pictures. I have a few from Thanksgiving that I will soon as I can find the camera ;o)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!


Encouraging quote

A dear friend of mine had a very difficult few days last week. One one of those days she posted some details of what was going on and a great Spurgeon quote that served her soul. It so served and blessed me that I wanted to pass it along.


Number 5

The number 5 has be become Mckenna's absolute favorite number. You ask her how old she is and she will say, "5." Ask her how old she will be and she will hold up 3 fingers and say, "5." If I ask her if she wants a cherry tomato (she loves them), or a cracker, she will respond, "I want 5, mom."

So, the other day Dori (Dave's mom) came to take her out to lunch. She took her to use the potty before they headed out. She asked Mckenna if she was done and she said, "no." Then Dori asked if she needed to go #2 and to that Mckenna said, "no 5, Grandma, 5!" We both laughed!!


Ladies Getaway

This past weekend, my mom, sister and I (and Selah Grace, of course) got to go away for the night. We left Friday afternoon and headed up to Gettysburg. Having a baby definitely puts a different spin on things. We had these great plans for dinner, but our teething little girlie didn't allow for that. So, we found a quaint little Italian restaurant, but the food was pretty awful. However we made a memory and had fun together.

The next day we hit the outlets! We had a great time shopping. My mom served, served and served us some more, by holding Selah Grace and keeping her happy so Kel and I could shop and finish up some Christmas gifts. We were also able to find some clothes which is always a nice treat! I know my mom had lots she needed to get for Christmas too, but her goal was to serve us...thanks, Mom!!!

Later that afternoon, the guys drove up with all the kids and we meet up to take my Uncle Keith out to dinner for his birthday. It was a great time!

I especially love these first two shots!


We will remember Chase

Many of you know the Smith family and all that they have walked through in the past 9 months. For those of you who do not know them, may I introduce you to Jon and Jenni Smith? Jenni carried their beloved son, Chase Miller Smith for 9 months, knowing that he would not survive long after leaving the womb. Chase was born on Nov. 6 and lived for 4 hours before leaving to be with our Heavenly Father. Jon and Jenni's faith and appropriation of grace is about as provoking as it gets and has lead me to wonder and be even more amazed at the Cross and what our Savior accomplished there. I encourage you to check out their blog:

Jon and Jenni, I am giving thanks for you continually. Few have provoked me in such ways as you both have. Your dear son's life was not in vain. May God continue, as He already has, to receive much glory from the way you have walked out the last nine months. I can't wait to meet your little boy one day!


Christmas Chain

In our family we have 2 birthdays in December, Dave and Mckenna's. Add to that the busyness of Christmas and it makes for a super crazy, yet wonderful time of the year for us. So, our holiday planning began in October! Some might think that is crazy, but for me it's necessity. This week we made a Christmas Chain, which we will use every day in December, leading up to Christmas. I got the idea from a friend. The chain is 25 links long. On each piece we glued a different Bible verse pertaining to Christmas and our Savior's birth as well as an activity for the day. The activities include everything from baking cookies to watching a Christmas movie to just playing with Christmas stickers to taking Mckenna shopping for family or even just wrapping presents. Every day we will open a link and read it. Hopefully we will all enjoy this and make a tradition for our family out of it.

Mckenna was a big helper in making the chain. She helped me glue all the Scriptures on the construction paper. Then when that was done, she had a blast picking all the glue off her fingers the WHOLE time that I wrote activities for the day under each verse!

We had fun working on it together!


First taste of food

Last night we gave Selah Grace rice cereal for the first time. She actually did very well, being it the first time she has ever had anything but milk. She made some very funny faces and half of it ended up coming back out, but overall I think it was a hit!

Here are some pictures.


Happy girl!

It's hard to believe my little Selah Grace just turned 5 months. What a joy she is to us and how grateful we are for her. She is a happy girl indeed!


Just what I needed

This past week Dave was gone, as I mentioned before, and toward the end of the week I was having a hard time keeping up with all I thought I should be doing. On Friday, I was spent a brief time reading and praying before getting Mckenna up. During that time, I felt impressed that I should email a particular friend, who I don't see often anymore, but is still dear to my heart. I emailed her asking for suggestions on practical things in this busy season of having a toddler and newborn. What she emailed me was so timely and precious and too good not to share with the rest of you young moms out there. I hope it encourages you, as it did me. Thanks, grateful to God for you and the time you took to encourage my soul!

Here is what she wrote:
"Oh my dear friend! You are in a really intense time. Rylie is only 2, but I do look back at my life a year and a half ago and it is really similar to what you are saying below. Babies take a lot of time. Babies and toddlers take more than the time you have 8) Heather, you are right where God wants you – in a busy time crying out to God because you are sinful, weak and desperate for His power. This is such a good place to be, even though it doesn’t always feel good.

Two words of practical advice: don’t compare yourself to other moms and I would recommend to not evaluate your life or even yourself today while you are tired and Dave is gone. Run to the foot of the cross, there alone you will find rest for your soul. The Holy Spirit is really good at specifically convicting, He will do it in His good time. He loves you and is so faithful.

Heather, rest in Him today. He is with you even if you are not getting a lot of time alone with Him. His word says that He is not a far off God; He is close, He is near. Love your little girls and slow down with your to do’s. They will get done when God wants you to get them done. The most important thing you can do today is run to your heavenly Father again and again. Let your little ones see you running to Him, crying out to Him. Remember His character. He is good, He is faithful, He is strong, He is forgiving, He is full of mercy, His is in control and sovereign over every detail of your life.

I will write you more soon, but for now I only had a few minutes and I figured that this is probably what you most need to hear...this is how Eric leads me and has led me when I am struggling. I am praying for you and will keep praying for you. Take a nap if you can 8) even if your house is a mess! Here are some scriptures to lead you to Him.


John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Mathew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Psalm 84 “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appear before God in Zion.”

Heb. 4:13 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”


Playing in the leaves

This past week was so beautiful! We had a few days in the 70's. On one of those days I was watching the boys for Kelly and we decided to go out and play in the leaves. I love the fall!


Harvest Party

Sorry it took so long to post this. I was having trouble again uploading pictures. Anyway, this past Tuesday we were off to our church's harvest party. Mckenna was a butterfly and Selah was a sunflower. The boys were decked out in their Narnia best. BTW, thanks mom, for graciously caming early to help me get the girls ready and out the door. Dave has been gone all week, so she was a big help!

Mckenna had a great time and Selah Grace was a trooper, holding up so well. Mckenna was mainly interested in all the candy and could probably have cared less about the games. She did enjoy getting a butterfly painted on her hand. Dave's mom came along as well to join the fun!

At the end of the evening, I managed to get in a picture with my 2 girlies.


Update from Retreat

Dave and I had a wonderful time away at the Care Group Leader's Retreat. I didn't get in many sessions, but it was great to be with friends and have times of fellowship. My highlight was probably something that a friend shared to encourage young moms. She shared it in the first meeting, but I was not there to hear it. So, Dave stopped her while we were in line for breakfast the next morning and she shared it with me. It basically was just an encouragement that God is in charge of my sanctification...He is doing the work, not me. Even though my devotional life looks very different these days, my Savior is still at work in me.

Although we didn't take many pictures, I did manage to take this one. Selah Grace did great! She only managed to get in a few cat naps throughout the time and this picture was one of them. Selah was so off her schedule by the end, but still happy as ever!


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