Saturday, May 31, 2014

Day 5 and a glimpse of our joyful rascal...

SWEET VILLAGE...  Thank you for blowing up God's holy cell phone (He doesn't need cell service or a phone for that mater, but you get the idea :-) with prayer requests for our sweet Gracie Doo and the rest of our family.  Your prayers have been heard and felt!!!  I'm overjoyed to share some praises with y'all, so here we go...

PRAISES
-They didn't have to intubate or put Grace on cpap last night!
-David is no longer joining Grace in the sickie club (he's well!) and he got a decedent amount of sleep last night because Grace slept most of the night.
-Abigail and Andrew continue to be the best, sweetest and funniest distraction for this momma.
-I brought Grace a big bag of pirate booty yesterday (since that's our favorite snack to enjoy together) and she wanted nothing to do with it :-(.  I brought her a new bag today (because I ate her bag from yesterday, I love those things) and she was beside herself with excitement about them...

This bag was stuffed to the point that I could hardly close it, she would put one in her mouth...

...and immediately sign for "more"!
We finally had to cut her off because her little tummy hasn't seen food for 4-5 days now, so we didn't want her to over do it.

-Despite spiking a fever AGAIN this evening she was much happier today than she has been since beginning the battle with this NASTY virus.  We got to see glimpses of our joyful...

...little rascal that we know, love and have missed!

-We are SO grateful for our friends and family that have stepped in (and generously offered to help) to make sure Abby and Andrew are well cared for when both David and I are at the hospital or I'm at work.  You have blessed us more than you know!
-Lastly, they did an echo on Grace today just to make sure that there assumption has been correct, that her heart was in no way a concern.  I sat on pins and needles waiting for the results because that would have been devastation to hear that her heart was also giving her trouble.  God showed off in that, her heart looked the same as it did earlier this month (at her last cardiology appt) and the gradient across her mitral valve was even a little less than it was prior (3-4 vs. 6-8).  Now, one of the cardiology fellows did the echo (not an echo tech) because it's a weekend, so there's a chance that his lack of expertise (compared to an echo tech) may have meant that he didn't captured the best images, etc, but regardless...  we will take it and praise the Lord all day, everyday!!!

Will you please continue to pray for a quick and complete recovery for Gracie?  We know all to well that you can have a good day and then backslide the next with this NASTY virus, so we are praying diligently that everyday Grace gets exceptionally better and no more bumps. 

Thanks, love and (((hugs))) to you, Sweet Village!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Day 4 going in the wrong direction...

Today was not a good day in Gracie's world :-(.  

I took the day off of work today so that I could spend quality time with Abigail and Andrew.  The last thing we want is for them to feel shuffled around, so we pray hard about how to protect them from feeling left out, or forgotten about and instead help to provide them with security and peace during these uncertain times.  Therefore, I picked Abby up early from school and surprised her and Andrew with the news that we were going to visit Gracie in the hospital.  Abby was especially excited because she hasn't seen her in 3 days and has really been missing her.  When we walked into Grace's room, she was super cranky (as she has been for the past 3 days), and I quickly realized that she had been switched to high flow oxygen because she was working hard to breath and they are working diligently to prevent her from developing pneumonia (she sounds super junkie because there is mucous just sitting in her lungs that could easily begin growing bacteria).  I asked our nurse if I could talk to the attending just to better understand the plan and ask some questions.  It wasn't long before I was talking to the attending, fellow and resident, after observing Grace's breathing for just a second (her head was bobbing as she would breath, demonstrating that she was now working even harder to breath despite being on high flow oxygen), we agreed that Grace going to the PICU to potentially be put on cpap and worst case scenario (but still very likely) intubated to give her body a break would be the best/safest thing for her.  They explained that the only way they can transfer a child to the PICU from the step down CV unit is to call the RRT (rapid response team) to assess her.  Que the flashbacks to when the RRT was called when Grace crashed on the same unit just a few doors down last October! Needless to say, I sat there holding Abby and Andrew as 20 people quickly swarmed Grace's room making plans to transfer her immediately to the PICU.  They began packing all of our personal items up for a speedy transfer and we had just a few minutes to say our goodbye's and pray over her.  Abigail was in tears because she was so worried about Grace and I was trying not to cry because I was feeling so scared and heartbroken that on day 6 of this terrible virus Grace is getting worse, not better (and this scene looked all too familiar).  After they rolled Grace out of the room and down the hall, the kids and I were left in the dimly lit, empty room wondering what the heck just happened.  The nursing staff kindly closed the door as I sat on the couch in the empty room and attempted to explain to the kids what was going on, why we couldn't follow right behind Grace and David (to her new room) and who we were going to give our fears and sadness to (the only person that can do anything about it, GOD!).  The kids and I got dinner as we waited for them to get Grace settled in.  The rules in the PICU are such that no kids under 12 years old are allowed in the room, but they made an exception considering the circumstances and allowed the kids to go back and say one last goodbye to Grace and sing her a couple of songs.  David then went to get some dinner while I read books to Grace and tried to keep this miserable angel happy (or less angry).  Here is a picture of Miss. Cranky Pants (just to give you an idea of how rough she is doing today)...

...and here she is looking a little more content after reading a ton of books, looking at pictures and then luckily she found this bright orange band aid on her finger fascinating...

The good news is that Grace is still on high flow oxygen (they doubled the support on high flow oxygen though), not yet intubated or on cpap, however I wouldn't be surprised if I get a text in the middle of the night that they had to intubate her.  Will you please, please, please pray against pneumonia setting in and that we can start on the road to recovery (not the other direction).

Hanging on to this verse...


Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
(Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV)

Thanks, (((HUGS))) and love to you, sweet Village!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day 3 of the in hospital battle with parainfluenza...

Again, I can't proceed without thanking each of you for covering us in prayer today!  Just reading each of your comments brings tears to my eyes because your prayers and support are practically tangible.  David and I are absolutely exhausted today (more on that in a minute), but seeing that so many of you are standing with us, covering us in prayer, encourages us as we get weary throughout the day.  Thank you for reminding us again and again that we aren't alone!

I'm desperate to slide into bed asap because I didn't get to bed until after midnight last night because I was on pins and needles waiting for updates from David about Grace's condition.  We would be on the phone talking and he would have to hang up on me to tend to Grace as she was throwing up, etc.  After finally getting into bed and falling asleep, I was startled out of bed, my heart jumping out of my chest, adrenaline shooting through the roof because there was a piercing noise that for a moment I mistook for our house alarm going off.  In that moment I was prepared to have to fend off an intruder before I quickly realize that it was not our house alarm (praise the Lord), but instead our evil smoke detectors!!!  Once I realized what it was, I anticipated the crew from the TV show "Punked" to jump out because never fail, our smoke detectors ONLY and consistently run out of battery when David is in the hospital with Grace, on a night that I'm completely sleep deprived and in the MIDDLE of the NIGHT...  NEVER in the middle of the day, but ALWAYS in the middle of the night!  It only took my Mother- in- love and I a few hours to gain our composure and figure out which 3 out of the 6 smoke detectors were chirping every couple seconds.  Then, wouldn't you know that I only had two new batteries, so the third smoke detector had to chirp all through the night and day until I got home from work and could replace it...  That's enough of that story, but you can imagine the kind of nights sleep that I got last night.  So, your prayers really did carry me through the day :-).

Grace was better today than she was last night, but she is still far from well.  This virus has kicked her booty!  However, one of the praises from the day is that the Dr's have said that Grace looks much better than most heart kids, fighting this type of virus (scary!).  Her fever is back up to 102,  she is super needy, sounds junkie, and is on less oxygen than she was last night, but still not close to coming off of the oxygen yet.  Our biggest prayer request is that she would not only recover quickly, but that it wouldn't turn into pneumonia and that she doesn't get a secondary infection, etc.  Please also pray for the kids heart (especially Abby) because she's really been missing Grace.  Lastly, David hasn't been feeling well (I think that he and Grace have a special daddy/daughter illness).  Praise the Lord that he's nowhere near as sick as Grace, but he could certainly use your prayers that he would recover quickly too.

Aren't these two sickies so stinkin cute?!?!

It's such a treat to work next door to Grace's hospital because I can sneak over throughout the day for some snuggles.


LOVE AND APPRECIATE YOU, SWEET VILLAGE!!!


WE REALLY NEED YOUR PRAYERS...

Well, in typical Grace fashion, this Divinely designed roller coaster is in full speed, heading for more bumps and loops :-(.

Shortly after I hit publish on the blog last night, Grace threw up (a lot) 4 times, had an explosive diaper that went up to her shoulders (sorry for the detail, but it's an impressive one), spiked a 102 temperature, was breathing super fast and working hard to breath (they had to double her oxygen), and she was super fussy anytime she was awake.  The resident said that these viral infections often peak at day 4 or 5 (which is where we are), but I'm still so worried about her.  

As I type this, David just texted and said that her cultures came back positive for parainfluenza 3.  I'm grateful to have confirmation and identification as to what she's battling, but there is still so much uncertainty as to how much worse it will get and how long it will last.  We are just grateful that this all happened in the hospital and not at home.  Will you please keep praying for all of us? 

THANK YOU!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Update on our Sickie Doo and Abigail's award ceremony...

First of all, thank y'all so much for your texts and Facebook comments!  Just knowing that y'all are standing with us, praying us through this time blesses us more than you could possibly imagine!  

Grace is doing about the same as yesterday.  At this point the Dr's are confident that she's indeed battling a viral infection.  The blessing behind the viral infection is that they have ruled out it being heart related.  Huge praise because that's always our immediate and pressing concern.  The plan is to continue supporting her with oxygen and breathing treatments until she can maintain her oxygen saturations at 93 or higher without oxygen.  It has been a sweet treat to get to see some of the attendings and fellows that have cared for (or heard about) Grace at various crazy scary points along this journey (specifically the two times that they had to pull out the crash cart for Grace and we were most afraid of loosing her).  God certainly gets ALL the glory as they marvel at how good she looks and how amazed they are as to how far she has come.   In fact, the fellow that took care of Grace for the first 6.5 weeks of her life in the hospital, where Grace threw everyone for some crazy loops (that is when we first learned that Grace doesn't do anything by the book :-), stopped by at the end of the day to see Grace and say hi to David and I.  We loved getting to catch up with him, but the phrase that he must have repeated 10 times is what really made my day...  He kept looking at Grace with big eyes and saying "I can't believe how GREAT she looks!"  

Grace's face best explains how I feel inside when I hear positive comments from medical professions (positive comments aren't necessarily the norm :-)...

Yes, she's still in the same outfit as yesterday because... well, you see it's because her Daddy is responsible for that while they are in the hospital.  David can't be perfect at everything as it relates to caring for Grace, so we will overlook that she's on day 2 of her cute leopard pants :-).  Thank you David for being our rock ( in God's strength of course) through all the craziness!

Agh! David just texted that Grace has thrown up twice :-(  We are praying that she's just getting all of the mucous out of her system because kids can't cough it up like adults.  Will you please, please, please continue to pray for a speedy recovery for Grace with NO complications?  

Maybe you can also pray for David's healthy eating strategy...  he ran to the gift store to get a "snack" and this is what he came back with.  Our typical hospital diet is in full effect!

Andrew and I had a great time at Abby's award ceremony this morning, and David got to enjoy it on video!  

Way to go Abigail for making all "A" Honor Roll and getting a "Citizenship Award!"

We couldn't be more proud of our sweet angel for her academics, yes... but we are most proud of her character (which there are no awards for, but it sure matters to us :-).

Please keep the prayers coming, sweet Village!  We certainly feel them! (((hugs)))

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Prayer request...

This is how we've spent much of our long weekend...

Her first breathing treatment was torture for all involved, but all those following just required some silly singing to keep her mind off of the giant mask on her face.

Even though she has not felt like herself, she's still our little rock star!  The punk rock hairstyle was complements of a restless nights sleep and the fuchsia braid is complements of her "tither!"

We've spoken to Grace's pediatrician multiple times over the weekend, as of this morning (after seeing her) she suggested that we take her to the ER because she was concerned that it may be pneumonia and she may need some extra support to get past it.  Off to the ER...

Grace must have been having horrible PTSD from all of her experiences in the hospital because anytime someone in scrubs got near her, she lost it...  even her mommy at times.  I get to wear scrubs to work and unfortunately I was wearing blue scrubs today, which happen to be the same color as the ER nursing staff, so she was even unsure of me at times :-(.  The good news is that Grace knows how to extend grace and is quick to forgive.  Here she is waving and blowing kisses to the nurse that had just put her IV line in...

Finally she knocked out and got a few minutes of rest...

The Dr's aren't comfortable with her oxygen level being as low as it is right now (especially when she's sleeping), so they are watching her and giving her support (oxygen, chest pt, etc) as she battles what is suspected to be a viral infection.  A huge praise is that it doesn't look like her condition is heart related and her lungs don't look terrible.  

I think that the rest of the family has PTSD too because it is an all to familiar feeling of dreading being split up and the uncertainty of how long it's going to last, etc.  The kids and I were grabbing dinner tonight when we looked out the window to see this beautiful sight...

We talked about how a rainbow is a sign of God's promise and faithfulness to His people.  It served as a sweet reminder that God's got this (just like He always has and always will)! We needed this sweet and timely reminder.

Village,  will you please pray that Grace makes a full recovery quickly and that our family can find the joy of the moment despite being separated and being concerned about our little Gracie girl?  Tomorrow morning Abigail has her 1st grade awards ceremony which I know David was looking forward to and Abby was excited to have her whole family there.  Will you please pray that it would be a blessed time for all, even though it's not what we had envisioned it looking like?

THANK YOU, SWEET VILLAGE!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

All kinds of milestones...

I can't believe that our two big kids are officially in elementary school!  My boy had his last day of pre-school on Thursday and is on to the exciting world of kindergarten!  While this already feels like a crazy big milestone, it's only magnified by the fact that this year in particular has been FULL of really high highs and really low lows.  In case you missed the excitement you can look back at the posts from mid October through Christmas to get caught up :-).  We have been beyond blessed by the people that have rallied around our family during this year of so much uncertainty, heartbreak, and immeasurable blessings, which include friends and complete strangers at our kiddos schools.  Both the staff and families at Campbell Elementary (and many other Greatwood neighbors) and School for Little Children have made this crazy school year rich and unforgettable.  

Splash Day (the last day of being a pre-schooler)...

Some of Andrew's buddies after a fun time of getting soaked...

Andrew and his wonderful teacher, Mrs. Farmer!


Nana Lu Lu was back in town visiting!  You know what that means... let the spoiling begin.  She knows just how to bless all of us.

This weekend has been so special as we have been celebrating our precious Abby's 7th birthday! 

I didn't anticipate having such emotion about her turning 7 years old...  I know seven isn't "that grown up," but I feel like 5 years old was definitely a milestone since she was entering Kinder, but she was still little and 6 years old was just a year older than 5, so not that big of a deal, but for some reason I feel like...  how do we all of a sudden have such a big girl, seven feels so grown!  I've spent the past couple of days reflecting on what I love most about getting to be Abby's mom and the list seems endless.  To sum it up, I can say that I'm truly a better person for knowing Abigail Lynn Ross.  On a daily basis, she demonstrates traits that I so love and admire about her.  I know the word integrity applied to a 7 year old is sort of weird, but it is one of many words that continue to come to mind when I think of Abby.  She has a sensitive conscience and tender heart that propels her toward God as she seeks to understand this crazy life through His eyes.  She loves to make people smile with encouraging words, by acting silly, or loving on them when they are sad.  She gives 110% at everything she does...  I guess that's why she loves deeply.  She adores her little brother and sister and has always found great joy in surprising them with little gifts.  This is why she started a tradition when she was 2 years old where she gets her brother a gift on her birthday.  We were asking her what she wanted for her birthday (she's always been so hard to buy gifts for because she doesn't want anything) and all she would give us is "to get a gift to Andrew."  Lucky Andrew, the tradition has stuck, but it goes both ways now (he gets her a gift on his birthday too :-).  

She got Andrew this hat...

I think that our attempt to spend her birthday weekend making her feel special and loved was a success and we saved a whole lot of money by not doing a big party :-).  We started her birthday celebration with a trip to Planet Wow where Abby and her best friends (Andrew, Grace, Ju Ju and Glo Glo) had the whole bounce house place to themselves despite the fact that it was "open jump."

Before the jumping began...

And after... this picture doesn't reflect the sweaty and exhausted kiddos that we had after much fun...

Even Grace got in on the fun... and possibly picked up a respiratory bug :-/

Then we celebrated with her cousins and again her BFF's by doing some of Abby's favorite things, swimming and eating at David's parents house.  It should come as no surprise that my In-Loves always know how to bless us (and any of their guests really) with super yummy food and great company (they make it so easy to just enjoy ourselves while they take care of all of the details).  THANK YOU SO MUCH MARY AND ED!!!  

Here is a picture of all the party goers...

Love the matchie matchie swim suits for our girls :-).

One of my favorite parts of Abby's birthday celebration was this...
Everyone wrote what they loved about Abigail (some people couldn't contain themselves and wrote 7 note cards... she was turing seven, so I thought it was fitting :-).  Once we got home, we read what everyone wrote and there is no question that it not only made Abigail smile, but it sure made her mommy and daddy smile too.  

We closed out her birthday weekend by playing some board and wii games, soccer (with the new soccer goal that she got for her birthday), and a special manicure and pedicure that we only get when Lu Lu is in town.  


And... this is what you get when you let your 7 year old birthday girl, who insists on matching her mommy (which I love because I know someday in the not so distant future that will not be the case:-), pick our nail color.  Abby looks for any opportunity to support our favorite Downsy Doo and her special heart and I love it!

On a not so good update...  Grace started the weekend with some serious teething (she likes to work on like 3 teeth at a time) and ended the week with terrible congestion, a cough, rapid breathing, and our first experience with the need for a nebulizer treatment.  The nebulizer was pure torture for all involved, but did wonders for her breathing, so I guess it's worth the torture.   Our pediatrician has been nothing shy of outstanding and amazing this weekend.  We've paged her three times this weekend and she has not only been super helpful, but never makes us feel bad for bothering her.  Dr. Dickerson is THE BEST, that is all :-)!  The only upside to a sick kid is the extra snuggles!

I have to say that I'm not the least bit a fan of selfies (my own selfies that is, not y'all's, so please selfie away :-), but I can't help but document these type of moments...

Will you please pray that Grace gets better quickly without any complications?  A sick heart kid is always scary.  Thank you, Sweet Village!  We love and need you :-)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Highlights of the week...


Highlights of the week include...


Per our previous post, we had a great cardiology appointment on Monday!  Praise the Lord!!!

Gracie's continuing to crack us up with her antics.  She has a book about opposites, so we have been working on her happy and sad face for a while now.  Until recently she had a happy face and just a little less happy face.  Here is her new interpretation of sad...

and happy...

Gracie has also become an expert at saying grace before we eat, in fact if she thinks that we have forgotten, she will get our attention and show us her hands folded.  So stinkin' cute!

I don't have a video of this yet, but it's hilarious when we catch her doing something she knows she's not suppose to do and then she will look at us with a serious face and shake her finger, as if to say "that's a no, no..."  It's way cuter and funnier than I can explain, so I'll have to work on getting it on video.

The downside to all of the joy that Grace brings to our family is that fear can sneak in, blindsiding us (as it did for both David and I this week) with thoughts of how devastating it would be to lose this precious and delicate gift.  We know that all of our children are on loan to us, therefore, God could call any of us home at anytime, so we try to focus on the joy of the moment instead of looking too far ahead.  “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you” (Prov 4:25).

Andrew is learning to ride his bike without training wheels...

....and while Abby's soccer team didn't win their tournament this weekend, we couldn't be more proud of her and the rest of the Bumblebee's.  Abigail continues to remind us (in God's strength) that she may be small, but she is fierce :-).

We had the joy and pleasure of going to lunch with some new friends who have a precious son with Up's.  Abigail couldn't get enough of this sweet boy...


Will you please pray for good lab results from upcoming lab tests.  Specifically that her liver and TSH levels would be back in normal range.  Will you please also pray that Abigail has a GREAT birthday on Saturday.  We have started a new tradition where we only do a "birthday party" every other year or two or three (we have quickly learned that with 3 kids, birthday parties can get expensive :-).  Our prayer is that we can focus on blessing the birthday person with letters of affirmation and encouragement, making the celebration about what God has done in there lives over the past year and what we love most about them.  We will also do all of their favorite things like eat at their favorite restaurant, go to their favorite park, swimming, etc. 

As always, thank you sweet Village for your prayerful support!!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cardiology Appointment Update...

As these crazy kids head to bed, they wanted to say "thank you for praying for our Gracie Doo!"

Praise the Lord, she got a great report from her cardiologist!  Her heart is unchanged from her last echo two months ago and our next appointment is in two more months (that's a long time between appointments for us)!  Time for a quick dance party and then work on gaining weight :-).
Love and appreciate you Village!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

I've been trying to get back into running because it is hard to beat the fact that it's free, you can walk out of your door and be exercising (versus having to drive to the gym and be tied to specific times that they offer classes), and above all it provides precious quiet time to spend with the Lord, either praying or listening to a sermon.  It seems like every sermon that I've heard on my runs lately, as well as the lessons that I've taught through during children's ministry at church, relate to suffering.  We've learned a good bit about suffering/trials over the past 2 years and one thing I'm certain about is that our new "normal" consists of varying degrees of crazy (with joy and pain sweetly sprinkled throughout:-).  There is no such thing as "comfortable" in the Ross Family anymore because we have seen first hand how life can change in the blink of an eye, which has served as an invaluable lesson as to how to prepare for the next trial and how to treasure and celebrate every moment in-between .  We have learned to lean into Christ when life is overwhelming and even unbearable (choose to trust not doubt) and in preparation for the next level of crazy (trial) we must do frequent heart checks to make sure that we aren't placing greater value in anything over Christ (from our kids health, possessions, profession, hobbies, the opinion of others, etc).  We've learned (and continue to learn) that God, through Paul (in the bible), provides priceless insight in that - the only way to experience true freedom and joy in all circumstances (especially the crazy), we must count everything as loss compared to the gain found in knowing Christ intimately and spending eternity wit Him.  I guess the reason this is on my heart is because Grace has a cardiology appointment on Monday and my natural reaction anytime we have a big appointment coming up is to fear that, while Grace may look well on the outside, things may not be well on the inside.  My flesh sees Abigail hustling like nobodies business on the soccer field and then being winded at the end of the half, I have to beg God for perspective because my mind immediately goes to fearing that something is wrong with her heart, rather than considering that she just ran her booty off and has earned the right to be winded.  Andrew is obviously prone to injuring himself (often times resulting in stitches or staples) and Grace... is Grace, so every time David calls me at a random time of the day, I fear that he's going to tell me that Andrew has seriously hurt himself or that he's headed to the hospital with Grace because she isn't doing well.  It is a conscious daily choice to (in God's strength) make war with the temptation to doubt or fear the "what if's" and not make my kiddos health and safety an idol.  Let go and let God!  Thanks for sticking with me thus far...  All that being said, will you please pray for nothing but good news at Grace's cardiology appointment tomorrow (Monday)?  Grace's weight gain has slowed down the past couple of months, so we are praying that it's not for heart reasons, but instead the result of the fact that she's probably burning a whole lot more calories lately, since she's always on the move and learning new skills.  Also, Grace had an endocrinology appointment this past week and we talked to her liver doctor because her TSH (she has hypothyroidism) and ALT (a liver enzyme) were high, so they want us to retest to make sure that the numbers are correct before adjusting her medication, etc.  Will you please pray that when they recheck her labs, everything is back within normal range?  THANK YOU, SWEET VILLAGE!!!


Here are a few exciting updates from last week...

This little girl has started pulling up!

At 20 months, Grace is playing the same "oh no, I lost it" game that Abby use to play when she was 18 months old (minus all of the talking that Abby did when she use to play that game, but Grace sure gets her point across with her signs and expressions :-).  
Grace will hide what ever is close by...  in this case it was some of Andrew's pj's (she thought they were Abby's, that's why she is saying "tither, tither, tither!!!"). video

Unfortunately, I don't have a video of this one, but Grace's PT has learned that trying to motivate her with this dancing and singing duck that we have may not be the best strategy because the second she hears the music she stops what she's doing to dance until the song is over.  It's hilarious!  She is obviously meant to be a Ross because we can never pass up a good dance party.

David posted this picture of Grace on Facebook (keep in mind he hardly ever posts anything, especially a picture on Facebook).  I think this was his way to try to put his stake in the ground that Grace is a Cubs fan first.  I have this love for all things Boston as of the past year and a half, which unfortunately for David includes the Red Sox (after all they won the World Series while David and Grace were there).  For the sake of my marriage though, I'm working hard to remain loyal to the Cubs and I'm glad that Grace is doing her part to make David feel secure in our allegiance :-). 

Andrew had his last Pre School Mother's Day Picnic!  I can't believe that he's going into kindergarten!  LOVE THIS BOY!!!

And... I can't believe that this little sweetheart is going to be 7 years old in less than two weeks!

Abby's soccer team tied this week.  She had one assist, and played some serious defense.  So proud of her and the whole Bumblebee team!

I had a simple and blessed Mother's Day today.  We went to church, watched a movie, and then went on our first long family bike ride.  Nothing fancy, just a bike ride, but it was some sweet to this momma for some reason.  I was also so touched that Abby and Andrew were looking for any opportunity to bless me today, so I received endless crafts, songs, and snuggles.  I didn't get to see 2 out of 3 of my amazing Mom's today, but there is no question that they have been on my heart and in my mind all day.  Here are the pictures of my momma's that I posted on Facebook and the reason I chose these pictures is because they in some way describe these amazing woman.

My Mom, has loved me unconditionally, been my biggest cheerleader, and made (and continues to make) tremendous sacrifices to bless me (and my family).  This picture was at Disney on Ice last time she was here.  It reminds me of her heart to see me (and my family) smile, so she's always spoiling us.  In fact she sent ME a Mother's Day card with a gift.  So sweet!

My Mother-in-love has also demonstrated sacrificial love to me and our family over the past 16 years.  While it may seem random, I love this picture of her because it depicts her heart.  She is always serving behind the scenes with a smile on her face.  She does the stuff that could easily go unnoticed by others, but without her servant's heart and attention to detail, not only could the wheel fall off, but life just would't be as sweet.

My Step Mom has made me feel loved since the day that I met her.  This picture depicts how much fun she can have (especially with our kiddos).  We come to pick them up after she has been watching them and they are all in costumes playing some sort of silly game that the kids came up with.

For those that yearn to be mother's, have lost a child, have lost their mother, have a strained relationship with their mother, etc, you too have been heavy on my heart today. Please know that I've been praying for you.

Have a blessed week, sweet Village!  GRACIE STRONG (in God's strength)