Hello all,

"Soon?" you may be asking yourselves.  "He said 'I’ll write again soon'..."

It's the Zenzes writing in with a family update.  Now, I am not slow in keeping my promises, as some understand slowness.  You see, as the parent of two buggers under 2 1/2, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day.  Why, it was just two days ago that Isaac himself was born.  On a side note, tomorrow he'll be taking drivers ed, friday he'll be graduating, and he's getting married some time next week.  Ya know, I'm close to being a grandparent, but I swear I feel so young...

Everyone is doing well.  Gracie is almost 4 months old now.  In the first weeks of life, her doctor was concerned because she was loosing weight instead of gaining.  They were freaking out and making plans to put her on formula, etc.  Silly doctors.  They were not aware of the fact that my children grow very large, very fast.  Once Gracie got warmed up, she took off.  She started gaining 3 times the amount they were hoping for between visits.  Now she's a bundle of joy weighing in at 57 pounds 19 ounces.  (And I'm proud of myself for knowing that -- it's not every father who can rattle off his children's data...)

Isaac (2 yrs, 2 mos) is also doing well and really loves his sister "Gurshy."  Very often he asks us if he can "Hold it?"  He then rocks her back and forth saying in a soothing voice, "Hiiii Gursheee... Daddy's hooome..." - What can I say; they're big fans of me.

Isaac constantly surprises us with the things he knows that we didn't know he knew.  A few examples...  The other day Amity and I were talking politics around the table as Isaac was busy eating.  Just for fun I asked him out of the blue "Who do you like? Gore or Bush?"  I was assuming he'd answer me but would have no idea of the context of those words.  His response: "Bush. (pause)  President Bush."

A few days later I was showing Isaac family pictures in a little album of his...
Me:  Who's this?
Him: Akka! (translated "Isaac")
Me:  And who's this?
Him: Momma!
Me:  And who's this one? (pointing to a picture of me)
Him: Aaron.
Me:  What...?
Him: Aaron. Aaron Jshenz.

Then later that night while shopping, Isaac holds out his hand and says "Nine, two!"  After a moment I realize he wants me to give him a 'five'.  So I slap his hand and say "Five!"  Immediately he says "Six!"  I say, "Woah!... Seven"  And, yep, without missing a beat he shouts, "Eight!"

Well, before I sign off, I'd like to relay one last story that some of you may not have heard yet.  It is a great reminder of the Lord's constant blessing, even when we are unaware of those gifts.  If you recall my previous mass bulk mailing which announced Gracie's arrival, I mentioned the blessing of Amity's "breezy 3 hour labor."  It turns out that was a much bigger blessing than we knew at the time.  At a later follow-up check-up, Amity's doctor informed us that Gracie had a very dangerous placenta.  Basically, the umbilical cord was attached to the placenta in the wrong place.  It was hooked in such a way that during any point during labor (or pregnancy for that matter) if the cord was bumped the right way or put under pressure, Amity's blood (due to the place of cord attachment) would have hemorrhaged into Gracie's system.  Gracie would have died in mere minutes, long before the doctor's would have even been able to detect a problem.  The transition phase of labor was the most dangerous time, and Amity's lasted only a few minutes.

Needless to say, the name "Grace" has taken on whole new meaning for us now.  It's wonderful for me to think that the Lord gave us bonus confirmation that He desired Gracie to be right here, right now.  It didn't have to be that way, but He chose it.  And it's a great reminder that is also true for me -- if I'm still here, it's solely because the Lord wants it that way.  I tend to think of myself as so self-sufficient - if I eat right, act right.... But really there are thousands of chemicals that have to be perfectly balanced, temperatures met, nervous system messages sent, brain waves waved - none of them designed by me and all of them out of my control.  It is only God's good pleasure that holds me together.

We're very thankful to the Lord for the privileges of living in His world for a bit, knowing and loving the kids He's let us borrow, and having the chance to know Him more each day.

Well, that's all for now.  You know, I like this keeping-people-up-to-date stuff.  It's fun - I'll have to keep it up.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Aaron, Amity, Isaac, Gracie