Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oh, I wish....

Oh, I wish I was a princess
Oh, I wish I was a princess
Oh, I wish I was a princess
And a Happy New Year

Sung by Ali..the tune: "We Wish you a Merry Christmas"

Also, congrats to my dear friend and college roommate, Kari. She got engaged. Check out her story on her blog

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving at Church

One of the best things about the church I pastor is that they do a meal to feed anyone who wants to come on Thanksgiving. We had a few reporters out today to cover this event. Here is the link to one of their reports:

ABC News 7

And here's a newspaper article from the Contra Costa Times.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Halloween and Baptism

So, what has happened in the last month? I'm sure lots, but the two most important events were Halloween and Josiah's baptism. Ali, Jed and Josiah's godfather, Greg, went to the church's Halloween carnival while Josiah and I took a trip on BART to go pick up Nana from the airport. Ali was a carrot. She wouldn't wear the carrot for the preschool parade earlier in the day, but after Greg's encouragement to "be the carrot" she gladly wore her costume and got lots of candy.
Josiah had a pea costume, but he didn't need in on the BART, so we put him in it just for the picture!More importantly, on November 2, Josiah was baptized. We discovered that he was the first child of a First Lutheran pastor to be baptized at First Lutheran...did you catch that? Josiah was not impressed by the significance of the day and cried through the baptism and pictures after the service, although he was fine the rest of the time. We were excited to have the Strand family here for the baptism, and thankful that they made the LONG trip to see their godchild baptized. We have better pictures from the baptism, but getting them from the CD to our computer is proving to be a bit of a challenge. So for now, these will have to do.
At three weeks, Josiah weighed in at 11 pounds, 5 ounces, and was 22 inches long. Ali still likes him, sometimes a bit too much. We have had several talks about how we don't touch Baby "Siah" when he is asleep and we don't move his head to make him look at you. At the same time, she leaned over in her chair today and told him she loved him, so we think we are good!

And our Ali's quotes for the moment.
In prayer: "Thank you for Tiffany (her teacher) and cake." Which is better, we don't know.
"Reading" a book to Jed "And God says 'no jumping'"...important lessons for us all.
After pulling a book off the shelf : "I found God. He was hiding." Good thing we have her around to find him!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Introducing Josiah William

At 3:30 a.m., it began.

At 4:00, Jed was awakened.

At 5:30, we waited.

At 6:00, the bags were checked one last time.

At 6:30, the journey began.

At 7:00, we arrived at the hospital.

At 9:00, the waters gushed forth.

At 11:00 Jed took off his wedding ring because Anna hurt his hand from squeezing.

At 1:30 p.m., Anna did not know if she could take the pain any longer.

At 1:50, the pushing began.

At 2:00, Josiah began to peek.

At 2:07, Josiah emerged into the world, all 21 inches and 10 pounds of him. Here's what he looked like:
At 3:30, Sy had calmed down. Here's what he looked like then:

At 6:46, Ali met her baby brother Sy for the first time. Here's how they look together.

At 6:51, we took the first picture of the rest of our life. Here's our family:

Thanks to all of you for your prayers! We especially thank God for a healthy delivery for both mother and child.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Pumpkins and Pictures

Yesterday Ali and I went on a trip to the Pumpkin patch. Ali picked out her own pumpkin and even carried it around a bit. I'm glad that she's not like me...when I was in kindergarten I went to the pumpkin patch and picked out a pumpkin so big I couldn't pick it up and so I had to roll it, which doesn't work so well when you have to get it back to your kindergarten classroom, which is downstairs. It's a miracle that the pumpkin survived that journey.

So when we were at the pumpkin patch, we did other things than get pumpkins. I talked to the other dads who were there with their preschoolers, and we gloated in the fact that we beat all the moms there. Ali sang some songs like "Old MacDonald" and "If You're Happy and You Know It" with some guy who played the banjo, and we saw some pigs, turkeys, peacocks, chickens, and roosters. There was also a hay maze.

Hey Gramma, here's a picture of Ali on her new trike. Notice that there is no fence or anything in the background.
Ali was walking around today putting herself in time-out. "I love time out," she said. Apparently we need a new form of punishment. I've heard that bamboo shoots under the fingernails is effective.

Speaking of torture, Anna is ready to have a baby. Really, really ready. Never mind that the due date was Sunday. We'll just keep waiting...and waiting...and waiting...

And besides field trips, I'm staying busy with work stuff including hiring a music director and planning a memorial service and stewardship program and the holiday schedule. I'm happy to not be preaching for the next couple of weeks, though. I took the time off so that I could be around when the baby came...and now I'm waiting and blogging. Well, if Sy turns out to be anywhere near as cute as Ali is, we'll be just fine. We'll be in trouble, but it'll be good.

Here's one more picture illustrating how cute Ali is.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Place your guesses...

Because I need to have some fun while waiting for Josiah (or else I might go crazy), I've decided to make it a game. I've set it up so anyone can leave a comment, even if you could not before. Guess the birthday, weight and length of this little boy. We'll see who comes closest. Maybe I'll even come up with a prize; we'll just have to see.

To put everyone on equal ground, his "official" due date is October 5th, but at one point I was also told October 9th.

Guess away!

Monday, September 29, 2008

From the Paparazzi

Some of you have wondered what it would be like to be in Anna's shoes right now. First of all, you need to know that Anna doesn't wear shoes as often as she can. The second thing you need to know is that Anna can't really tell whether or not she is wearing shoes because this is what she sees when she looks down. She feels really big, and requested once that I take this picture off the blog on account of her tummy resembling Mt. Vesuvius. I still think that she's beautiful, and I'm sure there is a beautiful baby boy swimming around in there somewhere. Michael Phelps, watch out. Josiah has been practicing...

Even though we were offered millions of dollars from People (R) magazine, we decided to turn it down and post Anna's late pregnancy pix on our blog. Here's a picture of her standing in front of our door, which Ali says is "reb," even though she is perfectly capable of saying "red."

In our next picture, Ali would like to welcome you to her house. It is in our backyard, which is curiously enough where Jed's imaginary friend lived when he was Ali's age. By the way, our backyard looks totally different now because there is no makeshift totally flammable barbeque cover, no red fence, and no dog cage made from mattress frames. That has all been dismantled and is sitting on the side of our house now, along with the yellow slide that we really will put up sometime this decade. Really.

In our last picture, you will notice that Anna is not really pregnant. At least not from the back. I've heard that this runs in her family, that they're never pregnant from the back, going back at least as far as Granny. You also have a nice view of the front of our house and some plants that get watered by our sprinklers, which is the only reason they are still alive.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Joys of Parenting...

Just a few notes to let you know what we've been up to...

It brings me great joy to know that Ali thinks the play eyeshadow she got in her birthday purse is a phone...she has no idea what other purpose it could serve. Of course, she uses just about anything as a phone, including her hand if nothing else is available. Considering how much I love the phone, I find this all rather amusing.

Ali is officially over whatever sickness she had. We are glad to not have to wash sheets and clothes daily because of the "icky" on them. She was sick for almost a week, and I was starting to wonder if I would ever be able to leave the house, or if I would forever be trapped with this evil sickness.

We might just be starting potty training soon. She is acting interested. That will be a exciting adventure, I'm sure.

Yesterday was a less that great moment in my parenting life. Ali wakes up from her nap and for reasons I still don't understand, decides to scream for the next hour and twenty minutes. Not cry, mind you, scream. Why? I still don't know. She would ask for something, and then tell me no. I tried everything; Elmo, fruit snacks, milk...all things that usually make the world a better place. I even resorted to offering marshmallows. All were a no go. I wanted to scream as well, but I didn't. I called Jed instead, so he could hear what our house sounded like. When she stopped (for no real reason, just stopped) and said "Sorry for crying, Mommy" I sat there and thought "Wow, and we have another one joining this fun very soon."

There you go, everyday life at the Maschke house. I have promised several people that I would post at least one picture of my Sy bump, so be on the lookout. Josiah should also make his appearance in the next few weeks. The sooner, the better.

Take care all, and more stories to come.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Friends, Fun and Firsts

Hey, it's me, Ali. I've been busy this last week, and I wanted to share some pictures with you. On Friday, we all went to Sacramento to visit our friends, the Walton's. I got to play with my good friend, Cassidy, which was super fun, and Mommy and Daddy got to talk to Matt and Agatha, which they loved!

Sunday was my Birthday Party. The day went like this: church, lunch, swim, Elmo cake. My friends, Bill and Diane, let me use their pool, and my friends Ava and Brayden, went swimming with me. Then we all ate purple Elmo cake. It was yummy.Monday was family day. Mommy, Daddy, and I went to the park and I got to swing. Then for lunch we went to McDonalds and I got to play on the Playplace with Daddy. Mommy said she couldn't play because baby Sy was in the way. After we got home, we all took naps, and then I opened my presents. That was pretty cool. I wanted a ring like Mommy's for my birthday, but Daddy got me some pretty pink and purple ones instead. I really like them.

Today was my first day of school. I went to work with Daddy, but I didn't go to his office, I went to my school instead. Miss Tiffany is my teacher. She's nice. I painted, played, and ate lunch there and then Mommy picked me up. I go back on Thursday. I think I'll like it!

That's about it for right now. Mommy and Daddy say hello!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

We finally found the camera...

"Moving is hard work!"

We were tempted to put all 98 pictures of Ali on this blog, but we thought you might get bored scrolling through all of them. So we just posted the most embarrassing ones of Ali in hopes that she will learn to deal with suffering when she hits middle school. Here's our lives, in a nutshell:

Jed works all the time.

Anna's big and pregnant (AND BEAUTIFUL!!!)

Ali's almost 2. And a big girl. She wants a ring for her birthday, like Mommy's. But I don't know where the nearest Helzberg Diamonds is, so she'll have to be okay with Toys R Us.

Here's a couple pictures of our new house and Ali's GREEEEEEN room!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We're here!

Sometimes moving sucks. We still haven't found the cord that connects our digital camera with the computer, so we've procrastinated blogging until we found the cord, but for now you're just going to have to imagine with us on this one. We are in our new home, which looks just like the picture a few entries ago. It is still taking lots of work to get ready, but the grass is coming back. I got installed on Sunday, so that was lots of fun, and I already have two funerals this week. Ah, the joys of ministry. Anna is having lots of fun entertaining guests (including Erin Winter aka Painter Extraordinaire, who painted 3 1/2 rooms in the week she was here, and my parents and brother.) We'll be sending out a little more of an update later, but I wanted everyone to know that we're doing well.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Josiah William.

Perfectly healthy.

Any questions?

PS: pictures coming

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

I found this on Google Earth/Panoramio this evening. This will actually be my drive to work come July. Beautiful.

We had a great Memorial Day weekend. We got to spend a lot of time with friends and I've been mountain biking 3 of the last 5 days. On Sunday Anna and I got to go out with my Elders and their wives from Faith as kind of a going away deal. It was a lot of face hurt from smiling as we left the restaurant. I've appreciated all the growth I've seen in those men in the time I've been at Faith.

Ali has been pacifier free for three days so far. Tonight was a bit rough, but she's making it. She is definitely a little girl though. She has learned that bursting into tears gets her attention, and she has developed a shoe obsession. The last several days, the first word that came out of her mouth when she gets up is "shoe." The picture below is from a recent trip to Target, when she found a shoe as well as a little chair about her size that she pushed around with her as we shopped through several aisles.

The latest housing news is that the inspection did not turn up any major issues, and the appraisal was favorable, so all things are looking like we'll be moving in to our house in mid-June. I'll be starting officially on July 1, getting installed on July 13th, and my first Sunday preaching will be July 20th.

We appreciate your prayers for us as we close out our ministry in OC. My last Sunday at Faith is June 1, and Anna's last week is the first week in June. And then we move very soon...that still hasn't really hit us yet.

We'll put up a post sometime on Wednesday answering the question you've all been waiting for: "Boy or Girl?"

Monday, May 19, 2008


Our offer on house #3 has been accepted!!!

Thanks for all your prayers. We'll have more information in the next week or so regarding inspections and when we're moving and when you can come and visit the Maschke abode and all that good stuff.

For your viewing pleasure, here's a picture of #3.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Baby Boy or Baby Girl?

Find out...May 28th!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pictures and Houses

Hello all!

Here we are again. All of the Maschke clan is happy and healthy, and we wanted to say hello.

Ali is now 19 months old and is learning new words all the time. She now says "See ya" as well as "bye bye" when we leave. Ali also loves pointing to Mommy's belly and giving baby kisses. She also likes going down slides ("Wheeeeeee!") and climbing, which we fear may lead to further extremes in childproofing.

Baby, a.k.a. Peanut, is doing well. Thursday will mark 16 weeks, which means one more month until we find out if Peanut is as he or a she.

Anna is NOT going to Catalina with her students this year; the trip is just too hard on her pregnant body. Instead I get to stay with the 12 middle school students NOT going on their class trips and watch them work on their assignments.

Jed is finishing up at Faith; his last day there is June 1. His first day at First will be July 1 (that is a lot of firsts).

We are still looking for a house. So far we have submitted offers in on three. Numbers 1 and 3 are still options, but our offer for number 2 was declined. We welcome any prayers offered up for housing, although we are partial to #3. God willing, we will soon have a picture of us in front of our new home!!!

Here are some new pictures of Ali. They were taken at a MOPS fundraiser by the same person who took our Christmas pics. The setting is the Heritage Hill Historical Park, a tranquil batch of historical buildings from the 1800s which marked the initial settlement at El Toro. Ali is standing outside of St. George's Episcopal Mission in the picture below. Enjoy!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Coming Soon to Concord, California!

It's official: We're moving! I (Jed) have officially accepted the call to be pastor of First Lutheran Church in Concord, California. We went up there for a house-hunting expedition this weekend since Anna had off for Easter Break and I needed a break after Easter, and spent some time looking at houses with Lisa, our Realtor.

In our price range (which is not terribly high, but at least enough to look at houses) we had a whole range of options, some of which were foreclosures that smelled funny and had unidentifiable sticky stuff on the walls, carpets, and mirrors. One home was quite scary and had locks on the outside of the bedroom doors and what looked like the spray-painted outline of a coffin in the back yard. Gideon had apparently been there too, and had left King James Bibles in several rooms and the garage. Other houses we looked at were completely new, with great rooms that weren't so great because they were pretty small. There were houses that I liked and Anna didn't, most notably the townhouse downtown that she said no to just because there looked like a homeless person was sleeping on the front porch. I tried to convince her that the 40 oz. Natural Light beer and grungy blankets were simply a housewarming gift from the neighbors, but she said we don't need neighbors like that.

Ultimately, we picked two that we thought we could live in, and though one was snatched up right after we looked at it, we have made an offer on the other one which is in Pittsburg, over the hill from Concord. If you go straight back about 4 miles from Anna's head in the picture below, you're basically there. Much thanks to Diane and Bridget for watching Ali while we were checking things out. Also, Diane gave Ali a stuffed Elmo and an Elmo hoodie. Ali can even point out Elmo's nose if you ask her.

On Saturday we went to Pixieland, which is a little mini theme park in Concord for little kids. Ali loved it, especially the teacups ride and the car she got to drive. She kept saying, "Weeeeee!!!" and encouraged us to spin the teacup, before figuring out how to do it herself.

The voters meeting at First Lutheran went off without a snag and the final details were hammered out on my call documents, so I signed them that afternoon before we left and made it official! We're planning on moving up there in June and I'll start work in July.

Thanks for all your prayers! We are thankful that God has been with us and has directed us to this church, and we continue to covet your prayers for us during this time of transition.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

For those interested...

Here is the picture we got on Friday of Baby #2. He or she measured 10 weeks and 1 day, so my due date is October 9th now (if it really matters at all). Even though we tell Ali it is a baby, she is not convinced.

Call news is still coming. We promise to let everyone know once the big decision has been made.

More news to come...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Some News

Here are some pictures of Ali and Nana, from Nana's visit this weekend. Ali greatly enjoyed the visit, and had lots of fun learning and performing the actions to "If You're Happy and You Know It" and being read lots of books. Nana even read Ali two books before bedtime! What a treat! We all had fun as Arlene visited my church (Faith in Huntington Beach) and took us out to dinner to celebrate receiving a call.

About that...I have received a call to be pastor at First Lutheran Church in Concord, California. I'll be heading up there the first weekend in March for an official visit. Please keep us in your prayers as we consider this opportunity to serve God in the East Bay area.

Anna's staying healthy with the pregnancy, although she seems to have more morning sickness than usual. Nana swears it's going to be a boy because she never got morning sickness with her girls.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Things we need to post

1. New pictures of Ali, who is still as cute as ever, and is growing like a weed.
2. Information about Jed's current job situation.
3. Great family time with Ben and Jen.
4. Baby number two, due in October.

All will be updated in the next week or so; stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2007 Ends! 2008 Begins!

Happy 2008 everybody! Mommy and Daddy let me write another blog thingy. They said it's a new year, 2008. So far not much has happened this year, but I thought I'd let you know what happened in 2007.

I had lots of fun this year at Christmas. This year I'm 16, which is much older than last year when I was 4 at Christmas. I was too little to open the presents last year, but I'm basically a pro at it now. Let me share the steps with you.

Step 1: Tear off a piece of wrapping paper
Step 2: Give it to Mommy.
Step 3: Tear off another piece of wrapping paper.
Step 4: Give it to Daddy.
Step 5: Repeat until Mommy and Daddy give me another present.

Another thing to do that's a lot of fun is when I see Mommy and Daddy eating "Christmas Candy" or "Cookies" I walk up to them with my mouth wide open and sign "Please." They know what "please" means since I've taught them well.

So as you can tell, Christmas was wonderful. We spent time together as a family, just the three of us. We went to church and sat together (Daddy didn't have a service Christmas morning) and ate and enjoyed presents.

On Saturday we spend the day in a place called San Diego. It was a fun day trip. We went to the Science Center and I ran around a lot because there was way cool stuff, and stairs that Daddy let me climb. Then I fell asleep and woke up at a place Mommy called Konos. She let me eat some of her egg burrito and then we took a walk. I walked almost all the way down to the beach and this old lady said some bad words to some people and then she said she was sorry to me and said I was darling. Mommy agreed with her about the last part. We had dinner with a friend of Daddy's from high school (Tim Jette). He and his wife have three year old twins named Adam and Patrick, which seem to be pretty popular names since I now have two friends with each of those names. I had a blast.

I also wanted to point out to you some of my artwork. It was supposed to be a private showing so I locked the door so Daddy couldn't come in, but he walked in through the doors to our porch. Mommy was a little angry that the restaurant didn't give us washable crayons, but I thought it would look good no matter what. She used a lot of elbow grease and a Magic Eraser to get the job done.

Anyway, thank you for all your presents. I especially like my books and toys and clothes. And hugs. If you come and visit me I can reward you with a slobbery kiss. I'm good at those, Daddy says.

Bye for now!