Saturday, August 30, 2008

What We're Up To..

Lila is collecting ponies. It seems we add to our collection just about everywhere we go. These are just a few of the "pony boys." For some reason to Lila all ponies are boys. I'm sure there are more in toy bins, under the couch and in the car... she's a little obsessed at the moment with these equestrian friends! She's already shown me three ponies she wants for her birthday and her Daddy promised to take her to Build a Bear to make a pony on her birthday...

Wayne and I have gotten really good at drawing pictures of ponies.

Not hard for Daddy who minored in art in college, but Mommy has gotten better at it... I've had lots of practice recently!

I'm sure you've all met Pinky and Pie-Pie. They go with us EVERYWHERE, grocery store, errands, church, even Bible class. She even pushes them around the mall in her baby doll stroller. They sleep on their own pillow in bed with Lila each night.
Then there is Honey Pie who used to go with us everywhere but had to wait for us in the car... a stick horse isn't the easiest thing to walk around the mall with!

And finally Hopper. She spotted him at Target and couldn't live without him. He came home with us that day but was purchased as a reward that Lila had to earn. It took her a week. It felt like the longest week of my life. He has now taken Honey Pie's spot in the car but most certainly has to wait for us while we run our errands much to Lila's dismay.. she always wants to push him in the stroller...can you imagine the looks I'd get? He's bigger than Emily!!

Speaking of Emily... She's getting close to her first spanking...

Maybe she wants to start a blog...???

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Go Dawgs!

Today is the day Wayne has been anxiously awaiting for months... the start of College Football. Georgia is ranked #1 in the polls so it should be an interesting, nail biting year.
The girls are ready!

Go Dawgs!

It's almost time for kickoff...

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Papa's Prayer...

It's funny how things have a way of becoming part of the ordinary. Pictures on the wall become just part of the wall as you walk past them every day and never stop to look at the precious images that took your breath away at the first sight of them, the same could be said with notes you once treasured from a loved one, or your baby's footprint from the hospital, etc. etc. Two things stand out among all the others to me right now. The list of Wise Ways to Live Without Regrets that I cut out of the church bulletin years ago and have taped to the shelf above my desk. The list that was my New Year's Resolution. The little piece of paper I see every single day and still have seemed to neglect the wise ways listed on the paper. If I woke up tomorrow and it was gone I would notice, yet I fail to stop and notice it each day... man, I could be so much wiser by now if only I had taken the time to read it every day from January 1 until now! Wasted Wisdom! : )

But the big one... the reason for this post.. is the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi that is framed less than a foot away from that wisdom list. I wonder how I could have missed the gift of this message all this time... It is one of my favorite possessions, not only for the value in the words, but for the man who gave it to me.. my Papa.

My Papa is a man of loves, and when he finds something he loves he buys a lot of them and hands them out like the candy man at every church. Through the years we've all been given various 'loves' from the Bop It! game, to books, to prayers.

Tonight when the ordinary finally stood out to me again I took the prayer down off the shelf and carefully opened the back of the frame where I remembered tucking in the letter that Papa included with the gift. In his letterhead is a short typed note with his distinct signature at the bottom. This is what it said...

To our special friends

As we thought about an appropriate gift for this special Christmas season; a time for rejoicing, a time to remember the less fortunate, the children, the hurting for a myriad of reasons, and yes for our service men on the field of battle; these words say it all.

For a thousand years and from generation to generation the prayer of St. Francis has been passed down. Those of us who have so much need to be reminded that to whom much is given much should be given back.

Merry Christmas and God Bless.


I will share the prayer of St. Francis in a minute but first I want to acknowledge the wise, tender hearted and compassionate man by grandfather is. He has shown by example what a giving spirit looks like. He raised my father, one of the greatest men I know, to be a giving man. My Dad has given to friends, family and strangers, never questioning, just giving and giving from his heart. I like to think that Dad taught me how to give... although I will be the first to admit unfortunately it is not always with the most cheerful heart...I am reminded tonight how that needs to change. My Papa has had an incredible life, one with many mountaintop moments and his share of valleys as well, but through it all I can not ever remember a time that he was not giving. I remember when he went through his Bop It! phase. When he called me over to the car to give me his newest find he opened the trunk to reveal easily twenty games back there! I'm not sure if he handed out the prayer of St. Francis like he did Bop Its! but the thought makes me smile with my whole heart! I love my Papa for the man he is and for the gift of this prayer that I will surely hand down to the next generation in my family...

Prayer of St. Francis of Assissi
Lord make me an instrument of Thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master; grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Although I still really like my list of Wise Ways to Live Without Regrets from the church bulletin, I think I have found my new Life's Resolution. Thanks Papa... I promise to not let your prayer be merely a frame on the shelf anymore. I will aspire to read it every day and commit it to my memory, and my heart.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In All Things Thankful

Sometimes we need to be reminded of the simple things. Be thankful in all the ways the Lord has blessed us, whether through saving you from something terrible that's lurking around the corner unseen, using an experience to draw you ever closer to His side during the event, or forcing you to walk through the fire to change you, refine you, into someone better, so much so that after you look back at your old self and pray you never slump back into that person again. These are things in which to be thankful.

Tonight my heart is heavy, weighed down by news of a student I had a few years back so troubled she chose to end her own life in a tragic way this week. And of a friend of a dear friend who tried for more than three years to have a baby only to finally realize her dream and then lose her precious Jonathon at 23 weeks gestation. Wayne and I have also received some news recently that has my heart and mind at war with each other. I just can't seem to rise above the sadness that seems to be everywhere in my life right now. It's well past 2 AM and although I should be sleeping, so I can keep up with the girls tomorrow, I find myself at the computer. Writing has always been cathartic for me.

I just snuck into Lila's room and spent a few minutes just watching her sleep. She is always so peaceful and I wonder what she is dreaming about. I said a little prayer over my sweet girl and then snuck into Emily's room to do the same. With Emily I always watch her breathe and remember just how lucky, just how blessed, I am to have my baby daughter Emily. When she was in the NICU I made my routine call to check on her each evening before collapsing into bed for the night. I vividly remember a few nights where I just couldn't settle my mind because the heart of this mommy needed to see that chest rise and fall, those life sustaining breaths, first with the vent and then later, on her own... the need was so great that I would drive back up to the hospital and sit there in the middle of the night just watching my precious baby breathe.

I am a blessed woman. I knew that when I found my Wayne, and was reminded of it again yesterday when I rushed out the door late for a doctor's appointment and backed my new car right into his truck. I quickly called him out to show him what I had done and he merely replied, "It's only cars. They can be fixed. All that matters is that you're okay." Wow, he took that really well. I've said it before but he keeps me going. He's never angry. He's strong and faithful, wise and funny. I am thankful for him.

Each of my girls are a blessing as well. And each has taught me great lessons in their short life. Two difficult pregnancies, two difficult lessons learned, and two perfect, beautiful girls that are a source of great joy, pride and delight for their Daddy and I.

Lila is my best friend, aside from her father, and I am her's. She tells me often, "Mommy you are my very best friend ever!" It melts my heart every time. She is my first born. And with her growing inside me I had to learn how to be brave and strong. Six weeks on bedrest here at the house and then three more in the hospital taught me how to be brave and strong and how nothing was more important than your child. After her brief stay in the NICU she came home with me. My complications were far from over but she was so beautiful and healthy nothing else mattered to me. God used Lila during my experiences bringing her into this world to draw me closer to him.

Eighteen months later when my baby girl arrived far too early I was rattled, okay maybe terrified is a better word, but Lila and God had already instilled in me the strength and bravery I needed to face that day and the many long days and weeks that followed. Looking back, I don't know how on earth I did it, but I was there for every touch time I could make, even when Emily was too small and too fragile to even be touched. I sat by her isolet wanting so badly to hold her in my arms and kiss her little cheek. A few days later I got to do just that, and she was the teeniest, tiniest, most perfect, little thing I had ever laid eyes on. This lesson was the hardest of all but the one I am most grateful for. With Emily I had to walk through a very long, difficult journey with many ups and downs and the scariest moments of my life thus far. But now I look back and see it for what it was... a walk through fire that brought me to my knees, experiencing all of God's promises, His faithfulness, His goodness, His grace and His mercy. I walked through that fire but I never got burned. We were always in the palm of His hand, safe and sound.

So as my heart breaks for the parents I know that aren't getting to live the life they had planned, I still see God at work. He has answered their prayers, maybe not in the way they would have liked but He is here amongst all this sadness. He sometimes asks very difficult things of us, but there is a reward in that submission. I love Him more now than I ever have my whole life. He taught me valuable lessons through my darkest days and I wouldn't change a thing. I will always be thankful for the blessings that I get to sneak in and pray over as they dream and breathe.

Psalm 126:3
"The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy."
In All Things Thankful Indeed!

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Camp Cousins..

We had so much fun with Summer, Charlie and Kate!
We started our adventure at Celebration Park. Despite the picture Emily loved the splash pad.. Since she was getting her cast off the next day I let her play in the water. And play and play and play she did!

We jumped the night away at The Zone! Gotta love the jump castles! I think the fav. was the super slide... even Emily got to slide, with Daddy of course!

Katie loves to play with Em.

My Emily Summer had fun jumping with her Aunt Summer!

The day after we lost the cast we had to hit the pool! Everyone had fun, especially Emily.. she loved splashing in that water! It has been a long, hot summer for my little one!
Off to the pool...


And Doodle...

I'm not sure what Charlie is doing here... tasting the water? Or really concentrating on those swimming skills? I know what you're thinking... He's Swimming? Looks like sinking!

And Katie Bug...

We also spent time shopping, resting, and playing at the house. We even had a tea party! Katie made invitations and everyone was invited, including all babies, and stuffed animal friends!

Charlie played along and had a great time at the tea party. Who said a tea party is just for girls???

Here's one of my favorites... can you imagine having four kids four and under? Here's what it would look like in my car...I think I would have to give in and get a minivan... four car seats was crazy! I think we had to watch a movie everywhere we went... otherwise it was very chatty... VERY CHATTY!!

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Long Time...

So it's been a while... We've been really busy the past month and I haven't taken the time to sit down and post. Sorry faithful readers, but I'm back and ready to update you on last months activities. Summer, Charlie and Kate came to visit, Emily got her cast off after seven LONG weeks, Daddy's friend John came in town for a weekend, the stomach bug paid a visit, Emily qualified for another year of therapy, Lila is enrolled in ballet, tap, and tumbling for the fall and the best of all... Emily has started WALKING!! Yep, you read it right! We have counted a whopping ten steps taken at one time. YEA EMILY!! You are my joy and never cease to make me proud! Our physical therapist will be most excited when she pays a visit next week... maybe I should bake a cake... a celebration is certainly in order!!

So here is the month in pictures...

The girls at play...

And you wonder... Did Lila have anything to do with Em's broken leg? Hmmm...

Whoa Lila!

Emily found Daddy's wallet.. Going for the plastic... good choice!

Did you by chance find a Nordstrom's card... Mommy wants a new pair of shoes!

Everyone signed Emily's cast before she got it removed...

Lila the helper..

Sisterly Love... a rare moment.. Em usually braces for the worst!

We got a cousins picture of our Future Wildcats (shh.. Don't tell Daddy.. he's holding out for Harding Bisons). If you get ACU Today, be watching for our cuties to appear in the next issue! Go Wildcats! : )

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