Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year from the Rosses!

Elisabeth is now three weeks old and has enriched our lives more than we could ever have imagined. As I was growing up, my parents would say things to me like, "you'll understand once you have kids", and now I am finally starting to get it! Parenting has taught us about the beauty of unconditional love and the amazing miracle of life. Every day I stand more amazed at our daughter and how God created her to be just perfect for us. I look at her newborn pictures and marvel at how she has already changed so much. I know it is an inevitable truth that she will grow up so fast, so I want to cherish these sacred beginnings with her.

Jason and I spent some time today reflecting on the past year and are so grateful for the way God has worked in our lives during 2009. We look forward joyfully to a new year of many "firsts" for 2010!

Below are some holiday and recent pictures of our sweet Elisabeth Anne, two of which she is being held by her Grandma Donna and Grandpa Pat.

Blessings and love to you as you enter the new year!

Jason, Kelley, Elisabeth, and Annabelle

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Introducing Elisabeth Anne Ross!

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14

She's here! On December 9, 2009 at 11:57 am, Elisabeth Anne Ross was born and our lives instantly and beautifully transformed forever!
Our last post was from her due date, and that night my water broke at 1:00 am, which prompted our trip to the hospital around 3:00 am and the induction process starting around 9:00 am on December 8. Labor was very slow in progressing, which meant increasing medical interventions to monitor Elisabeth's and my progress. Finally around mid-morning on Wednesday, December 9, after her heart rate was dropping consistently with each contraction, our doctor decided to do a C-section. After that the process was incredibly fast and she was here before we could even really process what was going on! It was a good decision as her umbilical cord was wrapped around her body several times which was preventing the normal progression of labor.
She weighed in at 5 pounds 14 ounces (the same as Mom when she was born!) and 19 inches in length. We stayed in the hosptial until Saturday and were cared for very well by the staff. The last few days have been adventurous, challenging, and so joyful that words just can't do it justice.
Elisabeth was born with a heart murmur that her pediatrician noticed and wanted checked out by a professional. We took her to the cardiology department at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City yesterday, and while she does have two small murmurs, the doctor is not concerned about them and told us to come back in a year to have them checked again. He told us to just pretend like they are not even there and to not treat her any differently because of it. This was very reassuring and we are thankful it is nothing more serious.
I plan to create some online photo albums with more pictures of Elisabeth, but in the meantime enjoy a few photos below!

Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support during this season of new life. We are so thankful to be celebrating our daughter's birth and the birth of Jesus so close together. Merry Christmas to you all!
Love, Jason, Kelley, Elisabeth, and Annabelle Ross

Monday, December 7, 2009

Today's the official due date!

Well, we made it to December 7th, our official due date! It seems that little Bambina is nice and cozy and not wanting to budge! We had our final prenatal appointment today, complete with a sonogram, and she is doing well and very active. She was even sticking her tongue out and sucking on her fingers. She had us all laughing! We can't wait to kiss those little fingers soon!
In the meantime, here are two recent pictures. One is of Bambina's new "friends" hanging out in her crib just waiting for her arrival. (I've already told them that they don't get to stay in the crib once she gets here, but they are cute for now!) The other is of of Annie having her own baby shower with some pink tissue paper from one of Bambina's gifts. Who knew it could keep a cat occupied for so long?

We'll keep you updated!
Love from the Rosses

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

November Showers

Even though it's December, November was such a fun month that we wanted to highlight some of its events before this month becomes eventful as well!

November was indeed full of showers. For starters, Lawrence had its first "snow shower" a few weeks ago on a blustery Monday morning. We walked out of our weekly staff meeting to a winter wonderland outside! We'll have to wait until perhaps January or February to have enough to make a snowman, but it was fun to see the snowflakes and anticipate the coming of the winter season.

We also had two baby showers in November, one with some friends from the Lawrence and Kansas City area and another with student friends from KU. Both were an absolute blast! It is always so humbling to be "showered" with so much love and support during a transitional time of life. We feel greatly loved! Below are some pictures from the showers. Laura, our sister-in-law, is also pregnant, so this was a picture of us and our growing baby girls at the shower on November 7. The babies' daddies are twins, so I wonder if they'll look at all alike? (-: (Both Jason's and Kelley's mom made it up from Wichita for the shower, and Kelley's mom is in the background.)

The next four pictures are from the KU shower and include a group photo, a picture with the two hostesses, Emily Clark and Kori Podszus, and pictures of the two handmade gifts from students' moms (little pink booties and a gorgeous white baby blanket!)

In the middle of the baby festivities, we had our annual Barn Bash, an outreach event consisting of games, testimonies, chili, cinnamon rolls, s'mores, costume contest, and of course lots of dancing with a live bluegrass band and official caller. It's a hit every year, and this year was no different. Below are pictures of one of the dancing sets.

We had our 39-week check up yesterday and our little girl is showing no signs of wanting to budge. We're thankful she's doing well and seems to be cozy! We set a "Plan B" with our doctor for an induction date of December 14th if she hasn't arrived on her own by then. We'll keep you posted, and in the meantime, below are some recent baby bump and nursery pictures from over the past month.

We'll keep you updated! Blessings and love from the Rosses!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Main Event, Nursery Progress, and a 31st birthday!

Lots of updates over the past three weeks! We've been staying busy between campus and planning for Bambina, so here are a few updates from our life in Lawrence these days!

We are sending out a newsletter soon, so more details about Main Event, our regional fall conference, will be included there, but it was a great weekend! On Oct 9-11, over 600 students from around the region descended on Kansas City, and it was fun to see many dear students that we've grown to love from other campuses from our summers in Florida. This is often the first time we see many of them since saying goodbye in July, and it's always a time filled with lots of hugs and squeals (at least from the girls!) The above picture is from one of the large group main sessions.

Bambina's nursery is progressing! The dresser and the crib are now complete, thanks to Jason, Daniel Petrosky, a KU student, and Jeff Burgess, the director of Campus Crusade for Christ, who all helped out in putting the pieces together! Below are some pictures of the progress, complete with our cat, Annie, helping out with the dresser drawers. We are getting closer to being ready for Bambina's big arrival!

KU was on fall break this past weekend, and we headed to Manhattan for a wedding of one of Jason's former K-State students. The reception was at a country club, so we took advantage of the beautiful landscape to grab a few pictures together as well as a recent view of the baby bump! The next day I did some "nesting" and decided that I've never had so much fun doing laundry! Just look at all those cute little outfits!

Finally, this past Tuesday was Jason's 31st birthday, and we had fun celebrating together, complete with the cake topper from his last birthday that he still has! (See blog posting from last year's birthday cake). This is a big birthday year as he officially becomes a parent at 31! We'll see if Bambina makes me a parent at 30 or 31...her due date is very close to my birthday so it could go either way!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bambina turns 30!

Our little girl, "Bambina", had her 30-week pre-natal appointment yesterday, on the 30th, and our doctor said she's doing great! This week, mom, dad, and baby are all 30! She's growing more active by the day, and it is such a joy to feel every little wiggle, squirm, and kick.
We also had our final birthing class last night at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where we will deliver, and we both really enjoyed going through it together. We feel more prepared for the big day!
Below are the most recent baby bump pictures, taken last night after our class. We are standing in the room that will be Bambina's nursery, but we still have a long way to go before we'll be ready to post pictures of the final product. Stay tuned! (Notice our cat, Annie, in the background of one of the pictures. She is not sure what to think of all this baby stuff quite yet. All new toys for her, perhaps?)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Celebrating in Two's!

This week was a special week for us as we celebrated our second wedding anniversary on September 15th as well as the culmination of two healthy trimesters in our pregnancy! Monday marked the beginning of our last trimester, and we can't believe we only have three months to go! At times it seems like it's been such a long process and at others it seems to have flown by. We are thankful and amazed at the process of the creation of life and can't wait to meet our daughter soon!

We celebrated our anniversary with a quick trip to Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, where we celebrated our honeymoon as well as our first anniversary. We love it that it's so close and easily accessible from Lawrence! Below are a few pictures from our trip. We found some new parks to explore and did some mild hiking to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery.

Lake of the Ozarks is also where we take our student leadership team every Labor Day weekend for our annual Laborer's Retreat to kick off the new year. Our weekend together was a great time of connecting, learning, praying, casting vision, and of course lots of fun and laughing! On the Saturday afternoon of the trip we always have a special activity planned for the students that's usually a surprise. Last year it was a high ropes course, which definitely challenged all of us to overcome some fears, and this year it was spelunking in a cave. This was not a typical excursion into a cave, however. It included crawling through complete darkness and at times water and muddy clay on hands, knees, elbows, stomachs, etc. I, Kelley, did not participate, but heard all about it afterwards. They all agreed it was very intense, sometimes frustrating, but definitely worth it. Sounds like a good analogy for a spiritual journey of loving and serving God at KU!
Below is our group (all clean) before entering the cave. What a great group!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's A...Girl!

Many of you have already heard our BIG news, but we are expecting a baby girl in early December, and we couldn't be more thankful or thrilled! Her official due date is December 7, which is just three days before Kelley's birthday.
The above picture was taken last Saturday, and we are now 26 weeks along. I've attached a fun link that let's you see how big the baby is compared to typical foods.
This week she's about the length of a long cucumber and weighing in at over a pound!We give praise to God for a healthy and safe pregnancy so far! Tonight we have our first birthing class at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, about a five minute walk from our home. This is where we will deliver and they recently opened a new birthing center.

We are nearly two weeks into the fall semester and things are going very well. We've met new faces, reconnected with older students, and are seeking God's direction in making the most of this final semester before we welcome our daughter into the world!

Thank you for standing with us!

With love, Jason and Kelley

Monday, April 27, 2009

Eight more days!

We can hardly believe there are only eight more days until KU's "stop day" before finals! Where has this semester gone?!? As we head into this week, we are excited to begin preparing for the next school year. We are forming our new student leadership team, our Joshua Team, and these young men and women have a heart to serve God during their time in college. Joshua Team provides a way for them to receive formal training and opportunities to live out their faith among their peers. They are faithful leaders and servants, often serving in other areas of the ministry as well. Below is a picture of our "Spring Training" group--a group of new students who gather throughout the Spring semester to learn more about the ministry and the vision of the Navigators. Many of these students will go on to join our leadership team. The final Spring Training meeting was in our home a few weeks ago, and this was the largest group we've hosted for dinner yet! We get excited to see how many people we can fit in our living room! (This picture actually doesn't include our director's wife, Kori, who had to leave early, so technically we had one more...)

We may break the record tomorrow as we host our summer training program students in our home for our final meeting before making the 21-hour trek to Jacksonville in May. We may have mentioned this in our last newsletter, but we are heading to Jacksonville again this year to help lead the summer training program. We are excited at this opportunity as we know the area from last year. We are serving as Job Coordinators, as all 125 students will work full-time jobs while they are there. God has provided half of the positions so far, and please join us in prayer that the other half of the students will find jobs within the first week of arriving in Jacksonville! During these unstable economic times, it can be increasingly tough to trust God for a large task, but we saw Him provide over 100 jobs in just a few days last year. We look forward to reporting back with the results. Below are a few photos from our time in Florida last year. The first is a shot of the KU crew at our "Tacky Prom" social night (every Friday night there is a social event of some sort), and the bottom is a panoramic of the entire program (bonus points if you can spot us!)

Monday, March 2, 2009

March Madness

The beginning of March notes the end of regular season basketball and the beginning of March Madness. Last year was our first year at KU and happened to be the first year the Jayhawks won it all, so it was quite the introduction to Lawrence and KU basketball! Below are a few pictures from downtown Lawrence last year after they won the big game. It was quite the party!

This semester we hit the ground running with our 11th annual Jerry Bridges Conference on January 30-31. The KU Navigators hosts Jerry Bridges, beloved Navigator author and speaker, each year for a community conference. In addition to the conference, Jerry blesses our KU student ministry by speaking at our large group Thursday meeting, speaking to our student leaders Friday morning, and speaking to other local ministry staff on Friday. Below is a picture of Jerry speaking to our student leaders early Friday morning.

The community conference is held Friday evening and Saturday morning, and a group of students helped us bake about 50 dozen cookies for the event! Check out the size of that mixing bowl and beater! Our wonderful home church here in Lawrence, Grace Evangelical Presbyterian, serves as the conference site and also lets use their remarkable kitchen for food preparation.

Over Valentine's Day weekend we hosted our student women's retreat at our regional directors' home in Shawnee, KS. It was a wonderful time being together, meeting new students, and discussing the love of God. What more appropriate topic to discuss over Valentine's Day! Below is a picture of some of the women serving fondue on Friday evening. Always a hit!

We just returned from our Laborer's Conference in Maryville, MO this past weekend where student leaders from around the Midwest gathered to hear from former Navigator Collegiate Director on what it means to labor on the college campus and for a lifetime. It was a wonderful time to be with students and learn and grow ourselves.

Thank you for your love and support of our ministry here at KU!