Asa's in a "Big Boy Bed," Naomi's crawling everywhere, Rachel's in Doula training, and Stephen's looking to graduate with honors
Rachel with Asa in his snow suit
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First, we'd like to fill you in on a Prayer Request for our friends at school, Lane and Emily. They were in a bad car wreck the day after Christmas. Emily had a lot of cuts and bruises, and had a minor surgery, but was released the same day to see Lane. Lane has been in the ICU after having brain surgery due to a head injury. He is currently able to look around and make eye contact (mostly with Emily) and today he was able to smile. Please pray as this newly married couple goes through this hard trial, and if you have time, please go to the "Praying for Lane and Emily" page to see pictures and updates.

Now, to update you on what's happened since September!

The News in Brief

Since the last time we updated you...
  • Asa climbed out of his crib, so we converted it to a "Big Boy Bed" and he was so excited! Watch the Video
  • Naomi started crawling, waving, and actually swallows some of the food we give her. 
  • The school caught on fire... twice.
  • Stephen has been fixing stuff around school and around the world.
  • Rachel has begun training to be a Doula. Last night she attended the first birth at which she wasn't expected to push out a baby.
  • Stephen finished up his Junior semester and is preparing to start Senior classes this Wednesday.
  • We spent time with both of our families around Christmas.
  • Rachel was given an iPad!
Scroll down or click the links for details and pictures!

The Rest of the Story...

The fires!

Near the end of last semester, we had a little incident wherein the ancient old commercial dryer in the laundry room caught on fire. Luckily, some students were nearby in the workout room, and one rushed in to put it out before anything besides the dryer (and its contents) was damaged.
The Spring 2013 Graduating class in front of the fire truckTwo weeks later, the graduation ceremony at the school was interrupted by the fire alarm. All the guests, slightly annoyed, filed out of the auditorium, and were directed not to go down a particular hallway, as it was filling with smoke. The hallway in question was the one leading to the laundry room, and, you guessed it, another dryer was up in flames. We have now cleaned up all the fire and smoke damage, but are still waiting on the new dryers. To date, this is the only NTBI senior class with a picture of them all in front of a fire truck in their black gowns. No one was injured in either fire, but a few people did lose a load of laundry.

Stephen: Mr. Fix-it with honors

Stephen here. I spent the last semester and winter break working part time to fix physical things around school with the maintenance department, and digital things around the world with NTM's Communications department. Both situations are great for learning, and really fun! I have fixed problems with old windows not going up and down correctly, and corrected issues with online content filters not initiating at the proper time. I have installed security lights, and streamlined blog creation processes. I am really enjoying the work, and have asked communications to increase my load if they're able. If you wouldn't mind, pray that I would be a good help in both areas, and that God would use my willingness to further His plan.

The other thing I'm excited about is my nearly 4.0 GPA! I keep telling myself that I'm not here for the grades but for the education (which is true), but I've never done this well for this long at a school before. I've earned only one "B" (by 1.3%), and I plan to talk to the teacher about any extra credit I could do to bring that up, but I'm not holding my breath. I only need a 3.5 to graduate with honors, so if I keep applying myself and showing up to learn, I should be able to accomplish at least that.

The classes I'll be taking this semester include eschatology and Daniel/Revelation, as well as Christian Living, Public Speaking, and a few more Epistle classes. I'd appreciate your prayers as I enter these classes, mainly that I would use this time not only to gain knowledge, but to apply the truth of God's Word to my life.
 

Rachel: Student Doula

A Doula (Du-la) is a woman experienced in childbirth who provides advice, information, emotional support and comfort to a woman before, during and just after she gives birth.
Hi guys! This is Rachel. About a month ago I registered with Childbirth International's online Doula training program. Since becoming a mom myself birth has been something that's fascinated me and I've already spent countless hours googling my little heart out. Stephen and I had the privilege of having a volunteer Doula at Naomi's birth. She was a crucial part of my labor and delivery, showing me what a positive impact the support of a Doula can have on a woman's journey into motherhood.  My training will take place all online and I hope finish in the next six months. As part of my training I am required to support two women in their deliveries and have already had the opportunity to attend one birth. It was a huge learning experience for me and such a cool thing to be there when a new little person comes into the world. Being here at NTBI means we live in a building with about 20 other families and young couples, most of which are just starting their families. This means I have so much opportunity to minister to the young wives as they go through their first pregnancies and start the adventure of birth and motherhood. I am beyond excited about starting this new chapter in my life and ministry (with SO much support from Stephen!) and am asking you to pray for me. Please pray that I would study hard and retain what I learn. Pray that I would be able to clearly show my friends and clients that fear in pregnancy and childbirth can be replaced with God's presence and peace. Pray that I would always seek to put supporting my clients above my own ideals. Thank you! 

The Adventures of Asa Malachi (2 Years Old)

Video of Asa in his big boy bedIt was a typical nap time when Asa woke up a bit earlier than he normally does. "Maybe he'll go back to sleep," we said. He often went back to sleep if he woke up early. *Thump* "What was that?" "I hope it wasn't Asa." We went in to find Asa standing in the middle of his room. It was the end of an era! Stephen got out his tools, and Asa got his. "Together," they turned Asa's crib into a big boy bed by removing one of the sides. The first couple sleeps were a little rough, but Asa quickly understood his new responsibility of staying in bed, and now a week later, he rarely gets out without us coming to get him. Thank you, God that this hasn't been too difficult of a transition. Check out the video to see how the first nap went.

Asa got to play on a real drum set at a friend's houseAsa is talking up a storm, and sometimes it's surprising how clearly he communicates, while other times we're amazed that we can understand what he means. He still loves his drum (The picture on the left is his reaction to the real drum set he got to play at a friend's house), but he's also getting into sports. Of course, he doesn't so much play "Up-all" (football), "occer" and "ockey" as he does use the equipment (such as a ball and, in the case of ockey, he'll use a "ockey tick"). This afternoon, we were all out playing in the hallway with the neighbor kids when Mike, an intern walked by. Stephen had introduced Asa to him before, and when Asa 
saw him he said, clear as a bell, "Goodmorning, Mike!" He had never said goodmorning so clearly, or even used it as a greeting before.
 

Little Naomi Honor (10 Months old)

Naomi crawls. She's a much happier girl now that she can crawlOur little cutie to get what she wants. As a result, we are happier... You know, until she upsets a trash can for the free buffet of paper. She has developed quite an effective radar and tracking system that allows her to pinpoint the single most dangerous thing in the room. Once she finds it, she heads straight over to it and puts it in her mouth. She does keep life interesting that way.
 
Naomi in front of Grandma's Christmas tree
Naomi is interacting a lot more, whether it be by shaking her head at you, waving, smiling, making kissy noises, or saying "Ba ba ba." We're so glad that she's a part of our little family, and are having so much fun watching her grow up.
 

Copyright © 2013 Stephen and Rachel Narwold, All rights reserved.
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