8 months! it still cracks us up watching this little guy grow up. he is getting stronger and more coordinated every day. his favorite activities include going after penny's bowls, playing with a red solo cup and scratching mommy and daddy's faces.

anticipating some upcoming trips, we applied for sammy's first passport. not surprisingly, it took a lot of work to get this guy to sit still long enough to snap this quick pic.

min is working very hard to forge a powerful friendship between sammy and andiamo (andy, for short). i'm still not sure if he likes him or wants to destroy him. i think at this age, it's kind of the same thing.

this is an unauthorized picture taken by my wife during one of her harder afternoons with sammy. he drives her nuts with screaming and she makes him pay by doing strange things to his hair. also see below. it's disturbing for this new dad to realize how pretty his son is...

we continue to be thoroughly challenged and privileged to raise this wonderful little man. we're doing our best to savor every moment because even in these eight short months we've already seen him change so much and find ourselves missing aspects of the earlier stages. you can't freeze them in time or long for them to grow up quicker or more slowly, you can only enjoy every day as it comes to you. being a parent really is discipleship.

in other news, we have a bunch of trips coming up.

i (mike) am going on a ski trip with the pastors of our church next week, then we have a trip to toronto to meet up with my parents and visit my nephew, lucas. in march we will be heading down to atlanta for me to attend the drive conference and for min and sammy to visit the chous. right after that we're taking a quick trip to philly to attend one of our s&l members' weddings.  in april i have a pastor's retreat then another local conference.

phew. lots of traveling. but you know what, we have to do it while we can.

church continues to be a joy. preaching every sunday is a new experience for me, but it keeps me on my toes and there's nothing i enjoy more than living in God's Word and opening it up for our dear community. i see people buying in, breaking down walls and demonstrating remarkable curiosity. obviously it's easy to draw lots of parallels between shepherding this young community and the experience of being a new father. the amount of time i've been doing both is almost identical and i am learning many cross-over lessons.

i guess the theme of both is to to pay attention to what is currently happening before me and to respond faithfully.

'til next month, friends!

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