Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Introducing . . .

Baby Girl Hitchcock!!

We had our 20 week ultrasound today, and it's a girl! She looks very healthy and is growing well. We're excited and truly thankful. Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment. (Isn't it amazing what they can do?)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Announcing . . .

Dr. Nathan Hitchcock!
Yes, Nathan successfully defended his dissertation this morning in Edinburgh Scotland. He received a 1A, which is the highest possible pass (pass with no revisions). The defense only lasted 75 minutes and his examiners were very complimentary. Both of them have encouraged him to get his dissertation published as soon as possible and have offered their help in opening publishing doors. Very exciting!!

Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement over the last three years. I always say that the only time you want to hear someone say that you've got something terminal is when you're awarded your terminal degree! The next person to go to school in the Hitchcock family will be Lazarus!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Thursday, 21 October 2010

A Sampling of Z

On Pregnancy:
Z: Mommy, there's a baby in my tummy! It's getting bigger and bigger.
Me: Oh, is it going to be Tubin's brother? (Tubin is a stuffed dinosaur who recently has been serving as Z's "baby")
Z: No! He'll be my brother!

On the resurrection:
Z and I are in the car, I'm listening to the song Death in his Grave
Z: That guy said "Jesus"!
Me: Yep, that's right. It's a song about how Jesus came alive again.
Z: Yeah, after the bad guys killed Jesus his Daddy made him alive again because he loves him.
Me: Exactly!
Z: Yeah, he just reached down and grabbed Jesus out of there and made him alive again.

On the return of Christ:
Z, singing in his bed during naptime:
"Jesus is coming back
After my nap
Because he loves us,
Jesus is coming back."

It seems pretty clear we're cultivating a little doctor of theology rather than a doctor of medicine. :-)

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Apple Picking

Today we went apple picking at a local orchard. The day was beautiful -- blue sky, warm weather, and amazing apples! Z had a great time filling his own little bag with apples, and afterwards he had a ride on a little train. I wasn't sure if he'd still want to go when he realized he'd have to go by himself, and apparently he did have second thoughts before he resolved to go ahead, because the first thing he said after the ride was over was, "I was so brave, Mommy!" Yes you were! (It appears we've also discovered where St. Nick works during the off season.)

Saturday, 18 September 2010

A Little Lime

According to Babycenter.com, a 12 week old, in-utero baby is the size of a lime. So, that's how big our new little one is. Yes, we are having another baby! The due date is April 1. The first month after we found out I was pregnant was quite difficult, and we had lots of complications, but things seem to be all right now. We had our 12 week appointment this week and heard the heartbeat, so it seems everything is looking good and we're excited to be starting the second trimester. I've had some morning sickness (all day sickness, really), but it seems to be easing up now, which I'm thankful for. We told Z the news last night, but I'm not sure he totally understands what it all means. He will soon enough!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Make Way for Ducklings

Z loves to read books! The other day we were walking around downtown and spent a few minutes in the toystore. Z had a great time looking at all the toys, but was happy to leave when it was time. A few doors down is the used bookstore. We popped in there, and Z immediately settled into a little chair in the children's section. Twenty minutes later he was not as docile as he'd been when we left the toy store! I don't want to say he threw a fit, but he definitely was not happy about leaving!

At home we read books every day, and I've been amazed to discover that he is basically memorizing the books as I read them to him. Then, when he's playing by himself, he "reads" the books to himself. Here is an excerpt of him reading Make Way for Ducklings, which is a family favorite. If you want to follow along, the video starts with Z reading on the page where Mr. and Mrs. Mallard stop in the Public Garden: "So down they flapped."

Friday, 13 August 2010

Goodbye to our Dear Friend

Today we had to put our dear friend, Lu, to sleep. She got very sick very fast, and the vet said there weren't really any happy days left for her. She was a truly wonderful dog, and we'll miss her very, very much.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Stegall Family Vacation: Part 2

We'll back up a bit for this post, and go to the beginning of the vacation. Nathan, Z, Lu and I took several days to get to Colorado, since we decided to drive through the Black Hills of South Dakota and spend a couple of days enjoying them.

Here's the backseat gang.

We drove the wildlife loop in Custer State Park and saw lots of fun animals, including "wild" donkeys. They really enjoyed Lu's dogfood.

Mother and baby.

We stopped several times in Custer just to get out and hike a little. So beautiful! These two aren't bad looking either!

Hiking. You can see Lu a little further up than Nathan and Z if you look closely.

This is the church in Jefferson, CO where we spent our Sunday morning. I think our family doubled the normal number of the attendees.

Cute little Katy.

Charis, Z and Grady watching a movie. I don't think Charis is asleep, we just caught her blinking (so like Yaya!). Z and Grady are obviously engrossed.

Here we are at the Continental Divide, about halfway between Breckinridge and our cabin.

The day we went to Breckinridge we stopped for gas and got Z his own bag of Cheetos as a treat. Once back in the car, as Nathan and I examined the map, I asked Z if he wanted me to open the bag for him. He said, "No, not until the car is going." He wanted to save the treat for the road!

There was a beautiful stream running right through Breckinridge, just inviting us to put our feet in.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Stegall Family Vacation: Part 1

The entire Stegall family gathered near Jefferson, CO this month to enjoy a family vacation. My parents very graciously rented a cabin for us, and all 18 found spots within. This post features two highlights of the trip -- a hike around Jefferson Lake and Z's third birthday, on July 15.

Jefferson Lake. The internet site we found said the trail around it was "Easy." I think most of us would disagree with that. But, it was certainly beautiful, and we all made it all the way around.
Jake was a great help with the little kids. Here he is giving Z a ride.

On the trail -- Z, Grady, Charis and Christie.

Z enjoying the wild flowers.

Jake, Caleb, Simon and Ann.

Caleb, Charis, Mom and Ann taking a break. Everyone is wearing Dad's clothes, because the wind at the lake was very chilly, and no one had brought sweatshirts. Dad's suitcase was in the trunk of the car, so the troops broke it open and distributed what was within.

Z and I.

Nathan and Z on a snowbank. We took a different car than everyone else, so didn't know Dad's clothes were being handed out. We just suffered until the hike warmed us up. When Z saw the snow he started to cry and said, "I'm going to be chilly!" You can see from his face he's still not happy about it.

And the birthday -- 3 years old! He got a t-ball set, which he and all the kids LOVED!

Crazy Daddy at the birthday party. He looks like that demented clown everyone is scared to death of.

Opening the presents with the cousins gathered round.

In March, Aunt Christie offered to make Z's birthday cake, and Z looked forward to it for months! Here is is: a Vikings football helmet. The artist with her fans -- Grady, Charis and Z.

And a close-up. Isn't it wonderful? Z loved it!

Enjoying turning three!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Z Sings

Lazarus sings Psalm 150:

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Make Way for Ducklings!

This morning Z and I were out in the backyard when we noticed a family of ducks in the yard right behind us! The ducklings were brand new and very tiny -- probably about ten of them. The mother was wildly running around the fenced in yard trying to find a way out. I have no idea how the whole family got in there in the first place. She wasn't a mallard -- she looked more like the duck in the picture above.

Anyway, after a couple of minutes of her running around and all ten of the babies running after her, she flew over the fence into our backyard. Then she was quite frantic, because the babies couldn't get over the fence and didn't know where she had gone. The peeping! The mother ran all over our yard quacking her head off. Z and I tried to show her where her babies were, but that just seemed to upset her more. Then, we noticed a cat in the other yard, stalking the babies. Oh no! Fortunately, just as it was about to pounce, the babies all ran right through the chain link fence into the other yard. The cat then turned his attention to the mother, who immediately led him on a wild goose (or duck, in this case) chase down the block.

The poor babies had now attracted the attention of some more of our neighbors, and Z and I had called Nathan over. Two of the babies got separated and came into our yard. Nathan caught one of them and I caught the other. By that time, the other babies had been reunited with their mother. We put one of the babies we'd caught in our little swimming pool. While it was swimming around I ran inside to get the camera, but just as I got back outside, it jumped out of the pool and went running off to find mother. So no pictures. But what an adventure -- wild kingdom in our backyard!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Mutual Education

Z caught me (Nathan) urinating today, and, like most two year-olds, he decided to watch and contemplate the whole act. I figured it was as good a time as any for a teachable moment. Here was the conversation:

N: "Z, do you know why you go pee? Because your body needs to get the bad stuff out, and when you go pee, all the bad things in your body get into the water, and then you pee out the bad stuff with the water. That's why you go pee."

Z: [pause] "And then you get a treat."

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Monday, 10 May 2010

New Z Videos

Sharing an icecream cone with Lu:

Drumming with Josh Ritter:

Thursday, 6 May 2010

"A Real Professor . . . Damnation!"

I remember sending out an e-mail eight years ago with that same title, because I had finally received my doctorate. Well, I'm very happy to announce now that although Nathan hasn't quite finished his Ph.D. yet (although look for that post at the end of the summer!), he has received a full-time job as a professor! We are very, very excited and thankful! At this point it is a one-year contract, but Nathan will be working for Sioux Falls Seminary as an Assistant Professor, teaching three classes in the fall and three classes in the spring. These are three different classes each semester, so he'll have six preps (which, for you non-teachers out there, is a lot!). The first year or two of teaching can be pretty grueling, but I don't think anyone really minds because we're all so happy to be done with school and getting on with the wonderful job. So we are thanking God for this gift that allows us to stay in Sioux Falls and both be teaching full time.
(By the way, can anyone name the movie from which the title quote comes?)

Saturday, 1 May 2010

A Month in Pictures

Well, it has been way too long! As a result, I have a million pictures, all from the same month. During that time, the snow has melted, Nathan spent two weeks in Edinburgh, Z and I spent one week and Kansas, and we celebrated Easter! So, here we go!

A few weeks ago I was in the car with Z and asked, "How you doing?" He said, "I the man!" I turned around to see this:

Z enjoyed raking the snow as it was all melting away. Just about a week before this picture was taken, the snow in our backyard was about 2 feet high.

Z was in the bathtub one night and I heard him say, "Mama, I made the sun shine!" I came into the bathroom to find he had made this with his bath toys:

While Nathan was in Edinburgh, Z and I went to Kansas and stayed with Yaya and Papu for a week during my spring break. We spent one day at the Topeka Zoo with Papu, Uncle Micah, Aunt Christie, Grady, Charis, and Katy. It was a GORGEOUS day, especially for us sun and heat starved South Dakotans. What fun!

There's my beautiful boy.

Micah, Christie, et.al. with the gorilla.

Ditto for me and Z.
Inside the rain forest.

The iguana was sunning himself on the sidewalk. We even got to touch him!

Instead of Goldilocks and the three bears, this looks like the bear and the three goldilocks (ok, the two goldilocks and the one . . . darklocks?)

Z and Grady hanging out at the pond. About 2 minutes after I took this picture, Z fell in. Ah. . . the boy's life!

Nathan came home from Edinburgh and we very happily celebrated Easter. Here we are Sunday morning.

Opening Easter baskets! (or boxes)

Z got a Vikings balloon with his basket.

And a Veggie Tales coloring book . . .

which included a page of stickers!

We had Easter lunch with some friends, and concluded the day with a huge Easter egg hunt!

Here's the whole crowd. It was a very happy day.