Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year was no different than any other year except that there was 1 more mouth to feed. Well technically Jonah is still on formula and didn't get to enjoy the turkey quite yet but it was his First Thanksgiving.

Just like each year we headed over to Aunt Sandy's (Todd's Aunt) house and the whole family was there. We typically gather there around 1 pm because we have our Thanksgiving dinner for lunch and for dinner we make sandwiches and eat the left overs.

A new tradition that we began last year was right before we pray and eat as we are gathered in the kitchen we go around and everyone says what they are thankful for that year. This year, everyone was thankful that Momoose survived her battle with breast cancer and made a full recovery and now is in remission.

Stella was thankful for her little brother Jonah and that God was watching over Sasha (Sasha is our 12 year old weimaraner that we had to put down on November 1 because she had bleeding tumors in her belly) and that Sasha was in heaven with Grandad (Todd's grandfather that passed away in early April) and O.B. (Old Buddy- Grandad's dog that served in the war with him and received military recognition).

Finally when it was time for Jenny (Todd's sister) to say what she was thankful for she announced to the family that she and Tyler were PREGNANT and not only were they pregnant but pregnant with TWINS! They are due July 14th and you can follow their blog  here. The best part, was that Tyler video tapped the entire ordeal and Mamoose said "You're what?" and nearly fell over. I will post the video feed as soon as I get my hands on it! Jenny and Tyler have been down the long and bumpy road of infertility and we wish them all the best! We've always known that they would be great parents- it just seems that God knew all along what his plan was and is now blessing them with 2 children!

After dinner everyone slowly made there way to the family room and tried to get a spot on Sandys brand new couch! Boy was that new Lazy Boy couch comfortable. We watched a lot of football and enjoyed watching Stella and Matt playing concentration!

We have so much to be thankful for this year! God has watched over us this year and blessed our family with a new baby boy. Everyone is healthy and doing well and we look forward to many many more Thanksgiving festivities with more and more mouths to feed!

God Bless!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jonah- Month 2

Wow-time flies and LOTS has happened in 2 months! We finally got Jonah's milk and soy allergy under control and now he is on Nutramigen. Its a hypoallergenic formula that is made by Enfamil. Its not as expensive as prescription formula but its still quite pricey in comparison to regular formula. We are just happy that he is reacting well to it and likes it!

Lots happened this month! Jonah went to the Pugnales house to hang out with his buddy Andrew (seen to the left) and experience his first real Buckeye game! Andrew is Joe and Lynn's little boy that was born in June and approximately 11 weeks older than Jonah. Hopefully these 2 will be buddies and in school together!
Lost and lots of changes...Jonah is still sleeping quite a bit and only getting up once, around 5am for a bottle. He still loves his pacifier and this month he's really begun to love his swing!  He wasn't a fan early on but loves it and its been a real life saver! Thank you Uncle Paul and Auntie Vanessa for my swing!

Jonah also loves the bath! Stella loved the bath tub too as a baby and if she ever became too fussy I knew a nice warm bath would do the trick! Jonah is the exact same. He loves the warm water and kicking his feet; he especially loves peeing in the tub- typical boy I suppose!

Jonah began to make A LOT of facial expressions this month and each day that went by he became cuter and cuter!  In this picture my sister (aka Auntie Sissy)  propped him up and put her phone in his hand.

Jonah is learning his name each day! He has begun to follow you with his eyes and looks in the direction of noise or sounds!

At Jonah's 2 month doctors appointment he received 4 vaccinations and weighed 12lbs 7oz. He nearly doubled in size and is in the 75th percentile for his height and weight!

I'm still home from work and enjoy each day with my little man. He changes daily and being able to be home with him I can see his growing and I truly feel blessed!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jonah- Receives the Sacrament of Baptism!

The Sacrament of Baptism hs the first rank amonf the Seven Holy Sacraments in the Coptic Orthodox Church, as it is the door by whicha believer enters the church and has the right to partake in the rest of the Sacraments.

The Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Sacrament of Baptism by being baptized by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, when the Holy Spirit came upon Him as a dove, anointed Him, then assured it after the resurrection when He said to His disciples: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew: 28:19), “He who is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Baptism is a redemptive Sacrament, necessary for redemption and entry to eternal life according to what the Lord said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of Water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God” (John 3).

Jonah was baptised on Sunday November 7th at St. Mina & St. Abanoub Coptic Orthodox Church in Miamisburg.

It was a beautiful fall morning and we headed to church early before the 9am baptism to wait for family and friends.

This is divided into four major parts :
1. Women’s Absolution
2. Renouncing Satan
3. Liturgy of Baptism
4. Baptism by Immersion

Women’s Absolution - The first procedure performed by the priest is the prayer of absolution of the woman, and it signifies permission of entry to the church and receiving the Holy Communion after the period of giving birth.

Renouncing Satan- Absolution prayer for the child’s mother (whether male or female) : The priest places the cross on the woman’s head and prays asking God to absolve and bless the child’s mother and make her worthy to share in the Holy Sacraments without falling into condemnation. The woman who gives birth to a child should not receive Holy Communion before her child’s Baptism. Hence, this will motivate her not to delay the child’s Baptism according to the law (40 days for the male child and 80 days for the female child). In this way, she will receive the blessing of absolution of the woman related to the child’s Baptism before their Communion, and this absolution is the legal permission for entry to church and receiving the Holy Sacraments after delivery. He also supplicates unto God to bless the child, and keep him/her to grow in grace, stature, faith, hope and love.

Then the parents and Godparents (my sister Sarah and her husband Mike) raise their right hand and recite the following “I renounce you Satan and all your profane deeds, and all your evil followers, and all your bad debits, all your power, and all your detested worshipping, all your evil traps and your army and your dominion and the rest of your deceit.  I renounce you, I renounce you, I renounce you”.

Liturgy of Baptism - The prayers continue similar to the rites of the Liturgy of Eucharist, with the priest, deacon and congregation, until such a time when the priest pours the Holy Myron in the Baptismal Font accompanied by three signs of the cross.  This is the moment of the dwelling of the Holy Spirit and the sanctification of the Baptismal water.  Psalm 150 is then chanted while the priest baptizes the child. Baptism here replaces the Communion in the Rite of the Eucharist. Sanctification of the Baptismal water, through prayers, is done to prepare for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and pouring the Myron oil into the water causes the water to become living water, capable by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, to grant new birth to the soul and body, and become effective in the salvation of the baptized, enabling them to walk along the path of salvation, and hence enter and see the Kingdom of God.  It also gives the baptized the right to become a child of God and the Church, having the right to partake of all the other Sacraments, such as Repentance, Communion, Matrimony and Priesthood.

Baptism by Immersion - The Coptic church insists that baptism is performed by immersion. The three immersions in Baptism is in the name of the Holy Trinity : The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, for the Lord Jesus taught His saintly disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19,20)

Getting annointed with Holy Oil.

Then during the Holy Liturgy both Jonah and mommy (me) receive Holy Communion together!

Jonah asleep before receiving Holy Communion.
Jonah was asleep for most of the liturgy. I had to wake him up just before communion. It was a long day for him.

Stella and Sophie waiting to take Holy Communion.
After the Holy Liturgy- Father Angelous introduces its newest member to the congregation!

Jonah with his God parents, Mike and Sarah.

Teta and Jonah!

The Shenouda Clan!
The Langley Clan!

Stella loves Jonah!
 After the liturgy we celebrated with the congregation with a brunch! Teta had all of the food catered and we enjoyed celebrating this joyous occasion with friends and family!

Jonah's cake.
Munchkins with Jonah's cale.

Best God parents ever!
Uncle Magdy and Jonah!

Gido so proud of his Jonah!

Finally, later that evening we had a special celebration dinner at Teta & Gido's home for our family.

Jonah smiling at his God Mother.

The boys lounging after a long day!

This was such an exciting day for us! Jonah became an official member of our church and received the Holy Spirit. Not only are we so excited to watch him grow but to watch his relationship with the God develop and grow!