Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I was unable to return to see her before she passed away on October 29. I had to give it to God because every time I tried to work out a trip there, it just wasn't possible. I thank the Lord for one last conversation I had with her. It was the day before she died, and my mom called to say that the Hospice nurse wanted us to call her. I say it was the Lord because even though she was unable to speak to me, she did indicate to the nurse that she heard me. I was able to tell her how much I loved her for the last time. That was bittersweet. It felt so good, but then the next morning when I got "the call", it felt final and was devastating. Many times I cried out, "God, I wasn't ready for my time with her to be over."
I was sick with a sinus infection when I got "the call" and actually had a doctor's appointment a few hours later to have my ears "cleared to fly". Thank the Lord for the timing because I was in fact ok to fly. I left town 2 days later.
Traveling alone was not easy for me. I was emotional. Oh, and did I mention that I have a fear of flying? Thankfully, that was the last thing on my mind on the way up there. (The way home was another story...) When I got to Baltimore, I rented a car and drove to her house where my parents were staying (and I would stay too). Talk about difficult.
During my trip, the Lord blessed me with time with my family (parents, cousins, uncle, ex-aunt, and a distant cousin and his wife). I arrived on Saturday, and the funeral wasn't until Monday morning. We had time to sort through her belongings and also be given the things she left for us. That was special and hard all at the same time. I could still smell her on some of her things...
When Monday morning came, I wondered how I would be able to sing in her service. She had asked me to sing "How Great Thou Art", and I wanted to do it for her. It is a miracle that I made it through the song without crying. I would like to think she gave me a chance to compose myself during Communion which preceded my song.
Speaking of the service, it was awesome. She planned the entire service about 8 years ago. Needless to say, that made me more emotional. I knew that these were the things she wanted us to hear. She had quite a heart for God.
As I look back on my trip for the funeral, I wish I could have stayed longer. I guess being there made me feel closer to her; it didn't feel as final. Once my parents left town days after I did, it felt so much more real to me. It hurt, and it still does. I have good days and bad days. I have a hard time believing she's gone, but at the same time I feel a deep loss. Crazy...
This was my last living grandparent and the only one that died suddenly. Jeremy would say because of those things I took this death the hardest. (He has been in my life for all 4 of them.) It is not easy to see someone looking well (with a few symptoms but nothing major) and then hear they are going to die quickly. It was such a blessing for her not to suffer for long though, and I thank the Lord for that. We all prayed that she wouldn't linger. After seeing her body, I wouldn't have wanted her to stay here. The Lord was merciful!
A few days ago, a friend sent me a link to a video by Hillsong. It spoke to me. You will have to watch it to understand why it ministered to me. My prayer is that through this season of my life I will praise Him! We are to praise Him in all seasons.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
This is my Facebook status for tonight:
Hard lessons learned: Pick up the phone and call your loved ones when they come to mind even if you only talk for a few minutes. Plan trips to visit them even if it means long car trips with little children. Life is fragile and things can change so quickly. You never know when your time with them will come to an end. It will most definitely be sooner than you wish.I am going to end with some pictures from our trip. This trip was from Sept. 4-8. My grandmother had not yet been diagnosed with breast cancer, but she was not feeling well. You wouldn't know it from her smile. She was so happy to have us all together! I will miss her like crazy! I already do!
Grandmommy and the grandkids -Huge smile on all of our faces
Samuel enjoying the hammock
Samuel fishing with Daddy
Samuel caught his first fish- reeled it in before Jeremy knew it
Samuel and his first catch
Cousins playing together
Samuel (3) and Caiden (6)
Vance playing in the rocks
Jeremy was obsessed with fishing
Vance and Ma enjoying some time together
Vance and Da
My brother John, his wife Nani, and baby Ertter due in February 2010
Monday, October 19, 2009
I am not a cook, but I will try a new recipe if it sounds good and looks easy. I don't like to spend a lot of time cooking dinner either, so I make sure the recipe isn't time consuming. Recently, I found a blog I like, and it includes recipes. I tried 3 of them, and I can honestly recommend every one of them!
The first one is an easy Mac N Cheese recipe. Yummy!!! I actually doubled the amount of cheese and penne pasta because it wasn't going to make enough for leftovers.
The next one is so tasty- Creamy Chicken Enchiladas. To save money and time, I used canned chicken breast chunks. (Like tuna in a can, but it's chicken.)
The last one is Mighty Meaty Nachos. It's delicious... I was short on time, so I melted the cheese in the microwave and then continued to use the microwave to heat it. The crockpot would be better if you plan ahead... I also decided I wasn't up for making chips, so I bought some. :) It made a ton of meaty cheese, so I don't recommend this for a small family. I ended up throwing some out. :( It would be awesome to take to a party!
Check out Kevin and Amanda for free fonts and scrapbooking too.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
20 Fantastic Free iPhone Apps for Parents
Peanut Butter Pie
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
When I signed up to review Fearless I was excited to have the opportunity to read another Max Lucado book; I have always loved his writing style. I also was intrigued by the title since I tend to be a worrier.
Fearless, Max Lucado’s newest book, deals with how we as Christians live in fear of everything and what we can do to escape our fears. Max presents thirteen everyday fears, explains those fears with examples and shows how Christ wants us to live a life free of fear. He quotes liberally from the Bible to back up his points, or should I say he expounds on the Bible’s points, as what he is presenting is not anything new, but rather something that has always been intended for us – a joyful life in Christ.
This book held my attention and was so well written that I didn’t want to put it down. Fearless opened my eyes to the fact that I let my fears dictate how I live my life. Through Max Lucado’s insightful writing and his frequent use of Scripture from various translations, this book has challenged me to let go of my “fear cushion” and start living the fearless life that God intends for all Christians. He doesn’t want us to “spend life on the edge of the pool” (81).
While I did feel like he could have combined/condensed a couple of chapters, Fearless was a book that I was looking forward to reading and I am glad that I did. It is a must read!
Monday, August 31, 2009
Vance is growing up. He turned 14 months old on Aug. 16. I have taken my time weaning him from the bottle, and I am happy to say that I am packing the bottles up today. They will stay packed up until the Lord blesses us with another little one.
These pictures were taken last week at the beach (Destin, FL). Vance didn't care much for the sand and really just wanted to be held while we were at the beach. That is the only time I have held him for an hour straight since he was tiny, so I enjoyed it. Can you believe he sat in my lap for an hour at the time? He also played in the waves, but I didn't get pictures of that since Jeremy and I were in the water with both children. I also got a Baby Spring Float for Vance before we left for the beach, and we used that a good bit in the water. I highly recommend it for the beach and the pool. (I got it on clearance and then with extra bucks from Walgreens, I only paid $3 for it.)
Monday, August 10, 2009
So, Jeremy is in bed asleep beside me, but I woke him up when I heard our names in the video. He and I were both speechless since no one ever mentioned this to us... He watched it and went back to sleep.
By the way, it turns out that Nine Mile found our blog when she and her family were considering CARES, and now they are a CARES Team. Jeremy told me that she commented on our blog months ago. He and I discussed it so long ago that I didn't remember...
This two minute video was made for CARES Teams, but I wanted to post it for you to see that little things all of us do, do make a difference. Remember that God calls us to the little things with great love. Thanks for your prayers and continued support!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
For $2 coupons, go to: Huggies Coupons. My Penny Pile posted them.
I have to say that I've converted. To Huggies that is! I used to love Pampers (LOVE, LOVE LOVE), but I started finding more deals on Huggies and bought them since Vance is such a heavy wetter and doesn't do great in cheap diapers. I still use Parent's Choice (from Wal-mart) at home, but I prefer Huggies... Anyway, last week when I was serving in the nursery, I changed several diapers and disliked the smell of the diapers I changed. Well, guess what? They were all Pampers. I guess I was immune to the smell for the last 3 years. It's funny that Luvs bothered me though???
Speaking of Wal-mart, I got a call last week from Schlesinger Assoc. about a focus group for Moms that have done a baby registry in the last year. I was so excited because it's only 2 hours and pays $125. YAY! (I can't tell you how many times I have tried to do one of those groups and have been denied... ) We will be spending some of the 2 hours at Wal-mart, so maybe Wal-mart is trying to step up their game by sending Moms in their stores to talk about registries.
Have a great day and happy bargain shopping!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Continue to pray for Stellan. Pray for this to be the end of SVT. (If it's not the end, he will need medication or more surgery.)
Thanks for caring, thinking about Stellan, and praying for him!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Please keep Stellan in your prayers. Pray for the Lord to give the surgeons wisdom, and for Stellan to get through it with flying colors. Pray for his parents and the rest of his precious family to have peace that only comes from Him as I know this is a scary time for them. Pray for the Lord to use this procedure to save Stellan's life. Pray for the Lord to use Stellan's life to bring others to Christ. So many are following his story, and so many lives are being changed through all of this.
My heart goes out to Stellan's mom right now because there is something about being a mom and feeling this special bond with your kids because you birthed them. I know she is trusting the Lord, but I am sure she needs your prayers to stay strong in Him. She is in Boston with Stellan now, and she doesn't even have her husband around. I expect he will come into town the day of the surgery though.
I will be praying, and I hope you will join me. I will give an update once Stellan is out of surgery.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I was so happy when Jeremy got home around 4:00 and said that I could head over to the hospital to meet Dawson. Both boys were still napping, so he could work from home while I enjoyed some time with friends. He said to stay as long as I wanted to, so I took him up on that. I got home at 7:00 PM.
Can I just say that Dawson is adorable and I would love to take him home with me? Oh, did I just say that? Oh well. I admit that I am smitten!
I wrote a short note to Dawson after meeting him. Here it is:
I remember your mommy calling to tell me that she was going to be having another baby. I remember how happy she was and how excited I was for her, your daddy, and your big brother Bryce. I have prayed for you since you that day. I was so happy to meet you today for the first time and to see that you are here safe and sound. I prayed for you to be healthy, and healthy you are. Now that you are here I will continue to pray for you. I pray that you will grow to love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, and mind. I also pray that the Lord will protect you all of the days of your life and use you to further His kingdom. You are blessed with so many people that love you, and I just know that the Lord has wonderful things in store for you!
In God's love,
Samuel and Vance are always on my mind since they are my babies!
Precious Dawson and Amy are doing well. If you would like to read more about Dawson's birth and see pictures of him, check out Amy's blog. As I expected, he is adorable! You can still be praying for Amy to have a smooth recovery and for her to get some much needed sleep. (She lost a lot of sleep during her pregnancy.) Also, pray for tiny Dawson as he eats, sleeps, and grows. He is a tiny baby compared to Bryce at birth; Dawson weighed 6 lb. 4 oz..
If you have been praying for Stellan, keep it up. He is still in SVT (high heart rate). The doctors don't know how his heart and body are still tolerating it after 4 days of SVT. I know how it's possible- the Lord has been working! He's a miracle baby! Please pray with me that the Lord would heal his heart. MckMama posted about his heart condition yesterday. He has an extra electrical pathway in his heart, which causes the SVT. If things don't get better (like Stellan going into heart failure), he might need an ablation, which a very risky procedure on babies. To read Stellan updates, click the Praying for Stellan button on the right sidebar.
Have a great day!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Here are some prayer requests I came up with for Amy and Dawson if you would like to pray for them:
1. Amy would be at peace and her nerves would be calmed
2. Amy would be able to get an epidural for the pain (She's already 6 cm)
3. Smooth labor and delivery
4. Dawson would be completely healthy
5. Smooth recovery for Amy and lots of support and help from friends and family.
I ask you to be with Amy right now. Calm her nerves and give her a peace that only comes from you. Lord, please allow Amy to get an epidural and be in as little pain as possible. We ask that she would have a very smooth labor and delivery. May she sense Your presence and Your hand on her. Protect Amy and Dawson throughout labor and delivery and bring Dawson safely into this world.
Lord, please send Renee to the hospital ASAP to make this process as quick as possible. Please guide and direct Renee and the nurses. May the nurses take excellent care of Amy. May Amy have no complications from delivery and may Dawson be completely healthy. We know that both of them are in your hands. We commit them to you!
In Jesus Name,
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Stellan's condition has not improved, and he needs your prayers. I am praying for the Lord to heal Stellan's heart,and my heart is heavy. I look at Vance and can't help but think about sick Stellan and cry out for God to heal him. Read MckMama's blog for the most recent updates. Thanks for caring enough to pray for this precious baby boy. He is in need of a miracle!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Stellan or MckMuffin, as his mommy calls him on her blog:
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
WARNING: This is a long post mainly for family and record keeping.
I love this photo of Jeremy and Vance at the local nautre center because Vance has a huge grin while Jeremy looks like he's scared of what Vance might do to him. It's like that around here most days because Vance is strong and is often found swinging his arms at us. Poor thing has no idea that he is hurting us. :)
Ok. We went to the doctor a week early for Vance's 9 month check-up. The office was booked for his actual birthday, so they told me to come early since he didn't need shots.
Before I give you Vance's 9 month old stats, let me say that he is probably the biggest baby we've ever seen. Oh, and I hate it when complete strangers make comments about how big he is. I guess I take it personally since I birthed him. :) I know he's healthy, but why do people feel like they have the right to make derrogatory comments about his weight. Oh well. That's something I need to get over.
Vance at 9 months old:
Height - 31 inches (above 97th percentile)
**Samuel was tall but only 29 inches at this age.
Weight- 23 lb. 5 oz. (90th percentile)
**Samuel was only 19 lb. 5 oz. at this age.
Head- HUGE (90th percentile)
We've been seeing a new doctor for a couple of months, and I just love him. He's been in practice for a long time, and he has been my answer to prayer with Vance's issues. The doctor had nothing but good things to say about Vance, so that's good. He said that Vance is now free to eat anything but citrus, tomatoes, and eggs, so I am hoping to start table food soon. I have to admit it makes me nervous and will probably happen at night when Jeremy is home (at least at first).
Now let me tell you what Vance is up to:
Food: Vance drinks 4 bottles a day (about 24 oz.). He eats cereal and 5 jars of baby food a day. He seems to like stage 2 food including pasta and chicken or turkey. He also loves puffs.
Milestones: I haven't been good about posting milestones with Vance. Sorry, Vance... Vance started sitting up from a crawling position on Monday, March 2, which was at 8 1/2 months. That same day, he started moving forward. I hesitate to say crawling since he's not proficient, but since then, he has been doing the belly crawl and the army crawl. He is on the move! I will be curious to see how long it takes him to be proficient at crawling.
Sleeping habits: Vance sleeps through the night; although illness and teeth have interfered with that a lot since we moved. He also takes two naps a day, which vary from 1 hour to 2 1/2 hours. Some days he tries to nap less than 1 hour, and some of those days he won't go back to sleep... It's funny how the 2nd time around, you are less worried about it. If this had been Samuel I would have tried everything to get him back to sleep, but this time around I just let Vance try to go back to sleep on his own and don't stress when it doesn't happen. Sometimes a poopy diaper is the culprit. Oh, and Vance also surprised me on Monday, March 9 when I went into his room (when he was supposed to be napping) to find him sitting up in his crib and talking. I immediately asked Jeremy to lower his crib a notch. That boy is so tall that I felt like it was unsafe for him to be up so high. So, life is changing for us. I am now aware of things on the floor more than ever since Vance has an older brother who loves to play with coins and small toys. I'm praying for no choking incidents...
Speech: Vance is saying "mama" and "dada" a lot as well as lots of other babble.
Teeth: Vance got two bottom teeth at 7 1/2 months and according to the doctor has 2 upper teeth about to "show themselves". Maybe that explains why he was up at 4:45 AM today with no desire to go back to sleep. He is also giving me problems at nap time; some days he will talk and fuss for 1 hour before he falls asleep??? Needless to say, I am praying for him to cut those teeth soon, so that I get more sleep. After all, he just consistently slept through the night at 7 months old, so I am just getting caught up on lots of lost sleep.
Brotherly love: Lastly, Samuel and Vance are having a grand time together, and I am enjoying watching their relationship develop as Vance gets older. I just can't wait to see the fun they will have!
Discipline: So the doctor told me that now is the time to start disciplining, and then he explained what he meant by that. Vance is already getting into outlets, blinds, etc.... He said to pick Vance up and tell him "no" and then to take him into another room before playing with him. If you play with them right after you tell them not to do something, they think that they will get to play if they do that thing. I thought that was interesting. This is the first doctor to bring up discipline with me.
Likes: Vance loves the paci. He never goes to sleep without, which is something I plan to break him of soon. I am not looking forward to that! Vance enjoys all of his "baby" toys, and he also loves to bang two toys together. He enjoys the exersaucer and the jumperoo. He plays well alone; I am blessed to have him happy playing alone for a long time. This afternoon for about an hour I made cakes and did this post while he played alone. Samuel does the same, but he was at work with Daddy this afternoon. He talks to himself and seems to analyze his toys, which cracks me up. He is one determined boy too. He goes after toys across the room. :)
Thursday, January 22, 2009
This is my 2nd post of the day.
(To me, Vance looks grown up in this photo. He was watching a video with Samuel on Jan. 14, 2009.)
On Inauguration Day, Vance broke out his first word, "Mama". I couldn't have been happier to hear him say it since Samuel's first word was "Dada". It was my turn, right? Of course, I realize that he doesn't understand what it means, but it is music to my ears and makes me smile every time. He says it all day long. So cute... In fact, today he woke up from his morning nap saying it. I sure love him and can't wait to hear what his next word will be.
Technically Samuel isn't a baby, but he's still my baby. My mom and dad took him to their house for a week. I am missing him like crazy, and he just left this morning... I am sure I will be busy packing and moving, but I still will miss that precious child. This is a picture I took of my boys last week. Miss you, Samuel!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
If you want more information, go to www.the3day.org. I just read a lot there and watched a video. If it seems like something you too are interested in, let me know. Maybe we can make a difference together in the fight against breast cancer.
Oh, and my diaper study diapers came. I imagine they're off brand, but I don't know which store. I will start with them tomorrow and see how it goes. I don't love the idea of using them overnight since Vance gets a bottle at bedtime, but I guess I will just follow the directions and use them 24/7. He will go through them in 2 days since there are only 18 diapers in the pack.
By the way, if you make baby food, would you give me some suggestions for frugal veggies and fruits? Pears were much too expensive, and I can't find sweet potatoes under $1 now. I don't want to make food if I'm not saving any money, so I would love some ideas. Oh, and bananas and applesauce are out because he's always got constipation issues and seems to get gas from applesauce. Here I thought I could give him applesauce everyday to save him money. Oh well.
Off to continue packing. We are now covered up in boxes. Here are a few photos from earlier today.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
This morning is a good chance for me to catch up on some things I have been meaning to do and haven't. I've got the washer running, which I need to do everyday, but I skipped yesterday... I have Vance down for a nap, and Samuel is in the room with me watching Scholastic books on video- a short 20 minute video that includes his favorite book- Click Clack Moo. I'm on the couch and just finished a Craigslist ad for this house (our 2nd ad this month). I'm in prayer that someone will rent it between now and when we move because we really could use our deposit for our emergency fund. I'm praying for the Lord to bring someone soon.
Ok. Samuel's video is over, and I need to get him a snack
Friday, January 16, 2009
Ok. I am borrowing this idea from a good friend, Lora.
Five Things I Love Friday:
1. small indoor heaters (I would freeze without mine in this drafty house.)
2. Vance's laugh (He has a belly laugh that I love!)
3. Samuel's love of books (That boy is loving the library these days and the library of books we have at home.)
4. Jeremy's dedication to our family (He works so hard to keep me home with the boys.)
5. Walgreens diapers (They are so cheap that they have made a way for me to avoid the work of cloth diapers!)
Have a wonderful day and a fabulous weekend!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Act quickly. She said that they wanted to get 200 people by Friday (1/16). If you read this after Friday, I would still call though. They might still need people.