Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mother's Day-today...

Missed you the past couple of weeks...

I hope that everyone had a blessed Mother's Day!  I seriously loved my hand made cards and gifts from the kiddos, especially since the big kids are at an age where they can specifically express what's in their little hearts and minds.  We decided to surprise my Mother-in-love at church on Mother's Day which was a huge treat because we are terrible at keeping surprises, but we actually pulled this one off.  We spent the rest of the day playing at the park and eating at Gramaldi's (super yummy pizza).

-Abigail and Andrew are both on our neighborhood swim team this year and to our surprise they actually love practicing 5 days a week and working hard for 40 minutes straight!

Here is "the boss" coaching and cheering her Bubba and Tither on from her shaded chair...

-We are continuing to wait (sort of patiently) to hear back from Grace's Dr.'s in Boston as to when we need to go back to have her valve dilated.  We are praying that no news/delayed news is good news, but the waiting can be hard because we want to plan...  Will you please continue to pray for wisdom for her Dr.'s and that Grace continues to do well?  THANK YOU!

-We had Grace's quarterly liver labs drawn (she had a random liver injury at one week old that requires us to follow up with a liver specialist to make sure that it is stable and not getting any worse) and her liver team said that her numbers were all within normal range!  Praise the Lord!!!

-We had Grace's IIP meeting at her school (I'm not even sure what IIP stands for, but it's where we go over her previously set goals, establish new goals, plan for the next year, etc).  We were elated to hear about all of the goals that she has met and exceeded, so much so that she is going to be transitioning to a 3-6 year old curriculum shortly.  That is certainly praiseworthy news for our little Gracie and her Designer genes :-). In case I haven't mentioned it lately, we are SO VERY grateful for The Rise School!  Each person at Grace's school plays such an intricate part of our village, as do each of you reading this post right now :-).

-Yesterday both of the kids final soccer games of the season were cancelled because of soggy fields, so we made a last minute decision to meet some friends at the beach.  It was such a treat to get to see the big kids riding waves and Grace loving the sand, waves, and birds.  Of course, none of us had our phones on the beach, so no pics of the beach fun, but here are some pics of some pool fun that took place before and after the beach.

-Last night we went to a crawfish boil where this giant dog stole Grace's heart!  Most of you know that Grace LOVES all things "dogs"!  You can imagine her delight when she laid eyes on this giant, sweet, slobbery, teddy bear of a dog!  She didn't want to leave his side all evening!

-Abigail was asked to dismiss the Hi-5 kids (the 1st-5th grade kids) from worship in the sanctuary to go to children's church and share what they will be learning including the memory verse for the month.  We were so proud of her for getting up in front of the whole church without being nervous.  I was reminded of how sweet her innocence is that she isn't yet concerned about what others think, or the possibility of failure, you know the kind of "stuff" that can so often keep us in bondage or distracted from being used by God.  My prayer has been that God would preserve that innocence and that she would always perform for an audience of One.  It also helps that we have a church full of great encouragers that do an amazing job of making sure that she (we) know that we are loved and supported no matter what :-).

(((hugs))) to you, Village!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Let's celebrate!!!

A lot has happened since my last post, so here goes what I intend to be a quick update (no promises on the quick part though :-)...

-Wednesdays have turned into a day of unexpected drama for Grace- three weeks ago on Wednesday, one of Grace's teachers had to do the Heimlich on her, the next Wednesday she split her nose (the little part that connects your lip to your nose) to where her pediatrician thought it would need stitches, however, the ER was able to glue it, and this past Wednesday she was diagnosed with pneumonia.  We are really praying that this next week is uneventful!  

A star by day (don't you wear sunglasses in the bath tub?) and a super hero by night!

-Andrew had his Kindergarten field trip to the zoo where he hung out with one of his sweetest little friends.  These two are just too precious!  We might just be warming up to the idea of arranged marriages :-)

-"The Boss," also known as Grace (that is my new name for her because she walks so confidently, chest out and with a swagger wherever she goes as if she owns the place), has been singing a lot lately which has really blessed this momma's ears.  For some reason, I was eagerly and anxiously waiting and wondering when she would start trying to sing (or rap- remember Grace's favorite music is Christian rap), especially since she LOVES music so much and the time has come, it was so worth the wait!

-Wait for it....  David officially graduated from seminary!!!  

The church that the graduation ceremony was held at couldn't have been a better fit, since they have a row of parking adorned with this sign (in case you can't read it, it says "special needs parking"), which came in very handy as we were running late, and for worship they had amazing gospel music (which is a family favorite)!

After graduation we celebrated with crawfish and a tickling/wrestling match!

 The ceremony was 2 hours long which made me a little concerned for how long the Boss would hold on, but she was entranced by the music, clapping and cheering for all of the graduates as they were individually called, and then her sissy got her to sleep during the sermon.  Praise the Lord!!!

WOW!  What a labor of love school has been!  I couldn't be more proud of him as I have watched him stretch himself in such selfless ways as he would constantly choose time with his family over studying/writing papers.  This prioritization would require him to squeeze in school work while the kids are at school, staying up to wee hours of the morning to finish assignments (and then still getting up early the next morning with the rest of the family), writing papers from Grace's hospital room, which seemed like a pointless task at times because she hardly slept in the hospital and when she was awake she needed her daddy's full attention, and lastly he selflessly took semesters off of school when needed in order to be a fully present daddy for Grace while she was very sick for two and a half months in Boston.  For so long, we have wondered what exactly God has in store for David and our family once he was done with school and, while we still don't have many definitive answers, God is revealing His plan already and it's pretty exciting.   I also firmly believe that "for such a time as this" David was in seminary to prepare him for the most important ministry, shepherding our family through the toughest time in our lives thus far, and I know that God will continue to use David to lead us through the crazy that is undoubtably in our future (remember there is never a dull moment in our lives and if it feels like we might be approaching one, we get a little antsy since that is no longer our normal).  Most of you are very familiar with all that God has done in the life of our family over the past 3 years, but I wanted to share with you a glimpse of the hope that is found in Christ when it feels like your world is crumbling around you.  This hope is for YOU too!  

To be honest, I'm sort of mortified at the thought of posting this because I hate to see myself on camera, much less the rest of you see me on camera, but I have to remember that it's not about me, this is God's story and I want Him to get all the glory.  This video was played at church on Easter Sunday during a sermon titled "If not for Grace."  Clearly the title and message was/is all about God's grace (unmerited favor) and the hope that can be found in His grace, but it's pretty fitting that our little genetically enhanced, broken hearted daughter is named, Grace :-).

-Andrew and Abigail told David that for his graduation present they would both score a goal at their soccer games for him and they both held up to their commitment.

*Prayer request- We are still waiting to hear back from Grace's doctors in Boston as to when we need to go back there for her valve to be dilated.  Will you please continue to pray for all of those details and that our Wednesday extravaganzas with Grace (or any of the other kiddos for that matter) don't continue?

I totally failed on the "quick" part of this post, so I apologize for that!  Thank you for hanging on until the end and for always standing in the gap for our family!  We love and appreciate you!