Fall re-cap

Well, between evening sickness and just the normal busyness of life, it’s been pretty much forever since we updated the site so here’s a fall recap.  

Gwennie is 2 and a half tomorrow (11/24) and actively potty training.  She’s 35 inches tall and 32 pounds and wears a size 8 shoe!  She loves to talk (absolutely non-stop!) and wrestle with her “Bubba” but is especially talented at being a little mommy to her countless baby dolls.  She’s convinced that she’s having a baby too and can’t wait for her little sister (she agrees with me that it’s just got to be a girl) to be here.  She’s already looking forward to holding the baby on her shoulder and rocking it in her rocker and singing to it.  That’s what she told me Thursday.  Too sweet!  Too fun!

Thad is 4 and a half and so close to reading!  He’s 42.5 inches tall and 42 pounds and wears a size 12 shoe!  He’s already in a size 6 clothing! He is such a big boy now and proves it on a daily basis.  He can write his name in all caps or lower case and knows all his letters and can count to 50.  He can see his face in our bathroom mirror he’s so tall and can help himself to many snacks without any spills at all.  He’s still “all boy” and his favorite thing to do is wrestle with Daddy.  He also loves to pretend like he’s different animals all day long.  Sometimes I feel like I live at the zoo!  He’s like a sponge when it comes to animals wanting to know their proper names (it’s not just a monkey it’s a spider monkey or howler monkey – that one was especially great, thanks a lot Uncle Jeff! – or a bonobo, etc.) and what sound they make and what they eat and how they move and sleep and drink and the list goes on and on.  I’ve learned more about mammals, reptiles, fish, etc than I ever thought possible!  He’s also doing great at Awana Cubbies and is in the Jumper track this year.  He’s excited about starting preschool in the spring.  His school is called the “Panther Preschool” because the school meets at the high school and they are the panthers.  Thad seriously thought he was going to learn how to be a panther and was just stoked for days.  I finally had to burst his bubble but he’s still excited about learning.  🙂

Sarah is 15.5 weeks along today and feeling awesome again!  I’m so thankful that I never threw up once (haven’t yet with all 3 pregnancies, fingers crossed) and life is great.  I still teach the toddler class at a church nearby on Wednesday mornings and Nick and I are teaching our kid’s church class for the next few weeks.  The really big news is that come January 1st I will officially be a stay-at-home mommy and I could not be more excited about it!  I can’t wait to be able to focus on my job as a mommy and devote myself to them entirely.  YEA!!!!!  

Nick is doing very well and looking forward to the holidays.  His colonoscopy went well Friday and we’re glad that’s over for another 3 years.  The doctor didn’t see any cancer but could only get about a third of the way through when he had to stop because a stricture that was caused by Nick’s Crohn’s prevented him from going further.  We’ll have to wait to see if further tests are needed in order to view the remaining two thirds of colon.  Hopefully not!  Nick is preaching on 12/14 and leading two small groups in church (a Financial Peace University class Sun nights and a Nooma class during Sunday school) and produces our weekly church bulletin and has just rejoined the Elder board so needless to say, he’s pretty involved in church!  That’s just the way he likes it!

Here are some recent fall photos of the kids playing in the leaves in our front yard one day after church, their Christmas portraits, and also our Christmas photo that we took this past week.  We hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving!  We are truly blessed and have so much for which to be thankful!!!!!

God bless you, 






WOW! 7 weeks along today and we are SUPER excited…

Sarah’s input – I’m feeling worse than I did with Thad but better than I did with Gwennie.  Mornings are great but evenings are pretty crummy.  We REALLY wanted this baby though so we’re excited and very ready.  We’re due on May 9, 2009 which will be our 11th wedding anniversary!  HA!  We aren’t going to find out what we’re having (unless it’s twins but it’s too early to tell and very unlikely) and we’re keeping the names a secret too.  The boy’s name is all picked but we’re open to suggestions for girl names.  Praise the Lord for the gift of life!

2008 T-Ball Season

Well, we just finished up our first official T-Ball season. Thad played on the Minor League T-Ball Tigers, and I was the coach. (Can you believe it? I never got into sports when I was a little squirt, but here I am coaching!)

Picture this, eleven 4 and 5 year olds batting (hitting the tee 4 or 5 times before knocking the ball off, catching (sort of) and running around the bases (hopefully in the right direction). We never kept score, all the kids got to hit once every inning, and no outs. I’m not sure if we won or lost our games. But who cares. 

Here are a few pic’s from the season. 

Portraits of the kids

Here are the latest protraits we had taken of the kids on 4/19/08.  Thad was 4 years and 1 month old and Gwennie was almost 23 months old.  They did very well!  They both LOVE having their pictures taken.  As soon as I get the camera out at home they both start making the cheesiest smiles and funny faces and love to see the instant results.  It was a little different at the studio because they didn’t know the photographer but they warmed up quickly.  Enjoy!

An unabridged account of May 2nd

Alternate titles: A tale of two trees.  Ode to two trees.  Happy birthday Sarah, here’s a tornado!, There’s nothing better than “Happy Birthday” sung to you in the bathtub with just a flashlight for light and a storm raging outside.  

All of those titles are very appropriate.  It was quite a night for us.  

Here’s some background – Gwen got sick in very early April and ended up with double ear infections, a sinus infection and strep throat.  It took us about 4 weeks to get to that point and get a good diagnosis but she got on antibiotics and recovered quickly.  

Four days after Gwen started antibiotics, Thad came down with a super high fever (105!) and that very morning (Thursday) I took him to the dr to get checked.  He too had strep and also had a hard time keeping his antibiotics down that day and that night.  I was up until 1am Friday morning trying to get his fever down (it had gone back up to 105) and comfort him.  He finally fell asleep and I fell into bed!  

At 4:08 I awoke to tornado sirens.  It felt like a dream.  I woke Nick up and we turned on the tv.  There were 3 little rotation circles on the screen and all near Siloam.  Suddenly there were 6, then 7, then 8!  The meteorologist said if you live in Siloam Springs you need to get to your safe place now!  BAM!  The electricity went off with a loud POP!  I screamed for Nick to grab Thad and I grabbed Gwen and we met in the middle bathroom tub.  We’d rehearsed this drill before but never in the pitch black.  Nick ran back to our room to get the flashlight while Gwen and I crawled in the tub.  Nick came back and was helping Thad into the tub when the house started to shake.  It sounded like a giant gust of wind on the north side of the house and only lasted a second.  Nick and I locked eyes and I said that was NOT thunder!  

We were kind of frozen in time for a little bit as the storm raged outside.  The kids were thankfully oblivious to our stress and decided this was the perfect opportunity to play shadow puppets!  They crack me up!  We did that for a while and then they serenaded me with the most angelic rendition of Happy Birthday that I’ve ever heard.  Gwen got upset that we weren’t singing to her so we all sang to her too.  

While we were hanging out in the tub we could hear sirens come down the street, get louder, then stop.  Then more sirens – louder, then stop.  Then more – louder, then stop.  

Nick said he was going to go check it out.  I heard him open the front door and say Oh WOW!  Then he went outside.  Scared me to death!  He came silently back in and ran to the backyard.  After a little bit he came back in and sat in the living room with the kids while I checked it out.  

Across the street were two ambulances, two fire trucks, and umpteen police cars.  Something big was going on but we couldn’t tell at the time what it was.  When I walked into the backyard I could see only leaves and limbs from the door.  Two thirds of our beautiful pear tree was laying on top of our bedroom.  Our gorgeous red maple was leaning precariously toward the house (sort of like the leaning tower of Pisa).  

We couldn’t do anything in the black night so we put the kids back to sleep.  Sweet little angels both went right back to sleep.  Nick and I were WIDE awake.  We talked for a while and then Nick fell asleep.  I laid awake until it got light outside.  I called my folks who hadn’t noticed a thing and didn’t have any damage at all.  Dad came right over and volunteered to help out later that day.

I called our prayer chain leader and she got the word out that we needed help.  Friends and family came all day to help with the tree removals, lunch, etc.  We are SO blessed!  By 2pm both trees were chopped down completely and the city was already picking them up and hauling them away.  

We found out that across the street a 15 year old girl had been crushed by a gigantic tree that landed on her bed while she slept in the family’s mobile home.  Her brother, who was sleeping in the same room, was injured but going to be okay.

Apart from some minor sunburn we got from watching the tree removal all day Friday (sunscreen was the last thing on my mind), we came away completely unscathed.  I am mourning the loss of these two trees (I am an unashamed tree hugger through and through!) but like the idea of a nice pool!  Thank you for praying for us and for thinking of us.  We LOVE you!  

A very special THANK YOU to Randy Blackwell, Dave Armstrong, Dave Downing, Neal Gesell, and all the good samaritans who just showed up to help (most of whom we don’t know and may never see again).  You have truly blessed us and we appreciate you!

Love, Sarah for all the DeYoungs

Family spring update

Again, I apologize for not writing more often.  Life is kinda hectic at times and we’re officially in birthday season now.  But, to keep everyone informed, here is a thorough update on all of us:

NICK – right at this very moment Nick is in bed feeling pretty crummy.  He’s got a code id his node.  Poor guy.  His work at DaySpring is going exceptionally well.  Everything Nick touches turns to gold and I’m so proud of him!   You may not have already known this about Nick but he’s very good with our finances.  That’s not to say that we’re rich (not by any means!) but he’s wise in his decision making now.  We were asked to speak at a church conference a few weeks ago and that went well.  Right now Nick is facilitating the Financial Peace University class at our church.  It’s going very well and we’re very encouraged by our progress thus far.  Student loans STINK and we’re making a valiant effort to be rid of that monkey on our backs in the next 12-18 months regardless of the sacrifices we have to make.  Yeah for us!  Go us!  If you wish to make a donation (sorry, not tax deductible), please send checks or money orders to ….  🙂  Nick just volunteered to be Thad’s t-ball coach!  Nick and Thad are SUPER duper excited about this.  Thad’s not technically even four yet and he’s already been drafted into the t-ball minor leagues!  Well, really all we had to do was sign him up, and pay a rediculous fee.  But Nick’s really getting into this and I think he’ll be a great coach!  He has the absolute perfect personality for it!

SARAH – I’m doing peachy keen and can’t complain about a thing.  It’s spring break this week so there’s no AWANA, no babysitting at church Wed, no bible study.  I kinda like the break.  I’m getting things ready for Thad’s birthday and looking forward his party on Saturday and Easter (my favorite holiday of the year).   Life is good.  No, life is GREAT!

THAD – He turns 4 on Friday!!!!  I can’t believe he’s so big!  Just last week he very proudly came up to me and announced that he was a big boy and proceeded to place his hand on my shoulder.  I was standing up!  Yikes, when did he get so big?!  And how did he know he could do that?  What a hoot.  He never ceases to amaze us.  He’s recognizing letters now and sounds and will be reading in no time, I’m sure.  He’s just pure joy bubbling out all over all the time.  His laugh is contagious and you can’t help but be happy when you’re around him.  Thad’s party is Saturday and we’re having a pretend camp-out.  His little friends (there will be 11 of them in all plus all their parents) are bringing sleeping bags and flashlights and will have a bunch of fun in our tents in our backyard.  We’re grilling hot dogs and smore’s and plan on just having a blast! Thad’s actual birthday is Friday and Nick has the day off because it’s Good Friday so we’re going to take a family hike and go to Grandma and Grandpa Gesell’s for a special birthday dinner.   Should be a very fun day!As I mentioned earlier, Thad is all excited about t-ball.  It’s a huge commitment for one so young so we’ll see how it goes.  I’m keeping my expectations very low.  I just want him to have fun.  If he likes it, great.  If not, then we’ll stick with iddy biddy soccer.Yesterday, Thad was asked to be the ring bearer in our dear friend, Jennifer Jackson’s wedding.  FUN!  He has no idea what it means to be a ring bearer (I tried explaining it to him this morning but he just got this glassy eye look and ran off to play) but we’ll start working on it now.  The wedding’s not until August so we’ve got lots of time.

GWEN – Along with ring bearer brother we’ll have flower girl Gwennie!!!  She will be just the most precious flower girl.  I was never a flower girl because we always lived overseas when I was little so I’m going to live vicariously through Gwennie on this one.  She truly has not a clue about what it means to be a flower girl but I’m sure she’ll LOVE getting dressed up.  She loves cloths and going places to show them off.  She is very clear about what she wants to wear and it’s usually something blue.  She is learning her colors and can say blue, orange (that surprises me), and purple perfectly clearly.  She is talking up a storm now and often uses up to 3 or even 4 word sentences.  Her favorite right now is probably “Bubba did it.”  Cracks me up.  Gwen adores books and being read to.  She has an insatiable appetite for anything related to books.   She’s super girly and loves having bows in her hair and taking care of her baby doll.  She’s been a little bit under the weather this past weekend.  Poor little thing has some sort of mild tummy bug.  She’s a little less perky than usual but I’m sure she’ll bounce back quickly.  She’s drinking fluids but not eating much.  I’ll keep you all posted.  This past Saturday we all four (plus my mom and dad) went to see Horton Hears a Who and we all LOVED it!  It was Gwennie’s first movie and she wasn’t too keen on the darkness of the theater but she did great.  She was freaked out by the bad guy (Vlad Vlad-i-koff the black bottomed eagle for those who aren’t recently familiar with the class Dr. Seuss book) but enjoyed the movie as a whole.  Both kids can’t get enough of the trailer on the computer.  Movies are so much fun!

BUDDY – Our sweet little beagle mutt had a scary moment two weeks ago tonight.  Turns out he had a seizure and we’re not sure why.  He’s doing fine now though and we’re definitely keeping our eye on him.  Our dogs were our kids before we had kids so this was terrifying for us all.  It’s amazing how pets can become such an integral part of your family.  Buddy and Bonny are a joy to have around and we love them dearly.

BONNY – Like me she’s doing great and there’s just not much else to report.  She’s turned into the mellow, sweet, traditional Golden Retriever hearth dog that everybody loves to hug and snuggle with.  Bonny has confirmed for me that Golden Retrievers really are the best breed EVER!   

Well, that’s all for now.  Please leave a comment or email us so that we know you’ve read this.  We love you all!  

  • Dad, Thad, and Gwennie hiking
  • Gwennie on the hike
  • Break time


Welcome to DeYoung Town. This new development features 4 of the finest Ginger Bread Houses around, equipped with the latest in Christmas cheer.We all had fun putting these together on Saturday. It even snowed during construction, but that didn’t slow us down. Don’t have any pictures of the snow, because well this is Arkansas and so there’s not much to show.

  • Left – Gwennies’ Bungalow
  • Bottom – Thad’s Church
  • Right – Mom’s Tuscan Villa
  • Top – Dad’s Highrise 

Ginger Bread Houses 

  • Here they are hard at work. Notice the beautiful holiday aprons that Mama made us. You too can own one for only $15.Hard at work 
  • A job well done.

A job well done