Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Asher's Birth

Hello beautiful family & friends!

I wanted to send you some pictures of the newest addition to our family!  Asher Benjamin Testa, born yesterday (March 23rd, his actual due date) at 20,25 after about 3-1/2 hours of labor, is sleeping peacefully.  In fact, he was born sleeping peacefully.  In fact, we don't know if he does anything else other than sleeping peacefully.  He is pure joy.

The name Asher actually means joy & fortress.  We chose the names Asher and Gioia (italian for joy) because many of you while praying over our child prayed that he/she would be a joy for us.  We took that as something special from the Spirit to our hearts.  Nehemiah 8.10 has become a prayer for us and for Ash, "the joy of the Lord is your strength."  Please pray that Asher would be a reminder to us and to the world as to just how much raw strength comes from focusing on Jesus as our primary source of joy!

To all who prayed for Mommy & Ash, we truly want to thank you.  We had asked to be able to give birth at home, during the day, with the kids present, quickly and with minimal pain & tearing, to be able to testify to the nurses (we had a chance to share our testimony & the gospel with them), that mom would regain her strength quickly and that we could do it while Nikki's mom, who is visiting, was present.  God answered each of these prayers categorically.  Siena and Sammy went to bed at 19,30 and then reemerged after the birth from their room.  They really wanted to meet there new sibling.  They were a little confused, they desired a "baby girl" and since baby girls don't have "pee pee's," as Samurai says, they think we may have gotten the wrong kid.

Please continue to pray for Nik!  She is healing nicely.  This home birth was truly remarkable.  She had tremendous care from Giovanna and Lorella, our obgyn nurses.  Additionally, she had about 3 or so strong contractions after her water broke while on the toilet, and then began to push while on the bidet.  After just two pushes, out came the head, I almost missed it as I was sending you all a brief request for prayer!

Enjoy these pictures.  We will upload these pictures to Anthony's facebook account in case you would like larger ones.    

Much grace, love & peace,
Anthony, Nikki, Siena, Sammy & Ash

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Siena's and Sammy's Birthdays

Siena with her new princess dress, beautiful!

A boy and his first gun!

Siena turns 4!  Sammy is now 2?!  Anthony and Nikki are weeks away from the birth of their 3rd and they just can't get enough of being parents.

God has just hardwired His people create and help shape life.  Here are a few photos of their most recent celebrations with the kids.  Note especially the beautiful addition to Nikki's body.  It is due out on the 23rd of March.

We love you and love sharing life with you!

Matteo (Siena's friend from school)

Emma (Matteo' little sister with Nikki's dynamite chocolate cake--the kids ate the whole cake!)

Elena & Lorenzo (Elena's son Alberto--not pictured--was at the party).  Nikki is getting to know Elena through Siena's school.

Nikki with Stephano (Matteo's little brother), Caterina (Davide & Anna's little girl) & the belly!

Cecilia is Davide & Anna's little girl.  Simply a gorgeous smile!

Leah (Nikki & Anthony's friend from Il Rifugio) with Leopoldo (the little boy she nanny's).