Sunday, June 7, 2015

Celebrations Galore...

For those of you that follow our blog regularly, thank you for sticking with us and I apologize for the brief hiatus.  We have had some pretty awesome, jam-packed weekends the past two weeks, making it almost impossible to find the time to do the many special moments justice.  Here is a quick rundown of what we've been up to...

-Abigail turned 8 years old two weeks ago!  Here is what I posted about her on Facebook on her birthday:

I can't believe that Abigail is 8 years old today (time has gone so fast) and I can't believe she's only 8 years old today (the Lord has grown her so much over the past 8 years, at times she is wise beyond her years)! There is so much that I admire about this kid (not because we are great parents, but because God is great) from her love for others (especially those with special needs) to her work ethic, and forgiving heart. I'm a better person for getting to be her mommy that's for sure. My prayer is that God would protect Abigail's sweet heart from being consumed or crushed by the "world" and that she would always find her identity and joy in Christ alone.

Abigail is the type of kid that doesn't ever ask for ANYTHING and if you ask her for gift ideas she can almost never think of anything besides... a long dress (that's the one thing she consistently thinks of) or new soccer cleats that don't have pink on them because the ones she used this season were hand-me-downs, so she didn't get to chose the color.  Since she is so low maintenance from that stand point, and doesn't like us to spend money on her unnecessarily, we racked our brains trying to think of something that we could do to bless her... She has had the same room decorations for the past 5 years and while she wouldn't ask for it on her own (even after Andrew got his room redone earlier this year) we knew she would love a new "big girl" room that is decorated with special touches, all of which I can't do because I don't have a creative or crafty bone in my body.  However, I do know the sweetest, most thoughtful, and crafty people on the planet...  our decorators (their company name is Frills)!!!  We met them when we first moved to Texas 9 years ago and they have not only decorated many houses/rooms for us over the years, but they have blessed us in countless other ways along our journey from late night texts of encouragement when I was feeling broken, missing, and worrying about Grace and David in Boston, to making sure that our big kids had extra special blessings around Christmas (as they too were missing their daddy and sissy) just to name a few.  We surprised Abigail with her new room on her birthday and she could hardly believe her eyes... I couldn't either!  I knew they were great, but her room exceeded my expectations...




 Another view of her seating area...

It has been a tradition for the past few years that for Abigail's birthday we go camping with our dear friends (which includes her best friend).  Well, we started Abigail's birthday (which fell on Sunday of Memorial weekend) just before 6:00 am with the ear piercing phone emergency alerts for a tornado warning, so we woke everyone up and ate donuts in the teeny kids bathroom (that is in the middle of the house) for about 40 minutes.  We actually had a great time hanging out in there, it just made for a very early start to the day. Due to the torrential down pour and flooding we had to change our plans at the  last minute from camping to "glamping" in a hotel room.  She still had a super special birthday with an impromptu scavenger hunt, swimming, movies, and lots of laughs.

Lots of swimming...

Scavenger hunt fun...


Yummy dinner and more time with friends...

"Glamping" ended up being a blast...

-We got to celebrate four family members birthday the following weekend, one of which was David's dad's 70th birthday.  We surprised him with a morning at Top Golf with just the grown ups and to celebrate Abigail we rented out an indoor soccer field and had a grown ups versus kids game that was a BLAST for all!  Let's just say that the 70 year old birthday boy was the MVP as he played like a 20 year old, diving for balls to running at people like a freight train.  So grateful he didn't hurt himself or anyone else (especially a kid)...  no seriously, I was praying about that the whole game!  We also got to celebrate Allen, our brother-in-law's, birthday (who has the same birthday as Abigail), as well as our nephew Caden's birthday!  It was a great celebration all around!

Team youngsters...

Team old folks...

Even Grace scored a goal...

Top Golf...


-Grace had her first gymnastics class which was such a highlight for me because it was further evidence that she is alive and thriving (there was a time when I didn't think I would ever get to see toddler Grace).


-We finally heard back from Grace's Dr.'s in Boston!  They said that the valve is definitely narrowing, but they don't think it's time to intervene yet.  Praise the Lord!  The other blessing is that in my communication back and forth with her cardiologist in Boston, I was reminded about how much he loves Grace and is committed to looking out for her and us in every way possible.  We have our next cardiology clinic appointment in two weeks where they will take another look at the gradient across her valve.  Village, will you please pray that the gradient is the same or even lower than before and that we could buy even more time until going back to Boston?  Thanks in advance our faithful prayer warriors!

-Both of the kids are on swim team, which has kept us very busy with 5-6 days a week practice, but I'm blown away by how much the kids love it, especially Andrew, because they work them hard and he is our kid that doesn't always want to push himself too hard.  In fact, another odd blessing is that this is the first sport that Andrew is better than Abigail at.  While they aren't overly competitive with each other at all, it is very apparent that Abigail can smoke him at anything that involves running (not only is he 18 months younger than her, but she's just naturally fast, so he doesn't have a chance).  They have their first swim meet tomorrow!

-The kids had their last day of school this week!  Here is what I posted on Facebook:

"So, I can't believe that I'm not at all emotional about Andrew graduating Kinder and Abigail 2nd grade. Instead, I'm blown away by God's goodness and faithfulness in hand picking the two most phenomenal and perfectly matched teachers for each of our kiddos (and really our whole family smile emoticon. What an amazing year!!!"

Seriously, these teachers have cultivated a love for learning in Abigail and Andrew, but have loved them well and ministered to them all along the way.  We are proud of Abigail for making honor roll and Andrew got the Mr. Goodbar award (Kindergardeners get "candy bar" awards) that said "You are a true gentleman!  You are a good friend, a good helper, and a good role model!"



 Abigail's sweet class (she's in the top row on the far right)...

We now officially have a 1st and 3rd grader!!!

-So, you know how hot it's been here in Texas, right?  In case you don't, it's been in the 90's and our two year old A/C unit went on strike and our house got REALLY HOT, really fast.  The service people couldn't come out for over 24 hours later, so we had to stay the night at my parents house and try to stay out of the house as much as possible because it was unbearable at 88 degrees.  We set up fans and of course, fans on the floor with a toddler named Grace had me mortified, so I had what I thought was a brilliant idea (I don't get those very often, so I'm owning this one :-).  She is used to standing on a piece of tape on the floor with her name on it at school, so I put a piece of tape with her name on it, on the floor at a safe distance from the fan and explained to her that if she wanted to stand in front of the fan she had to stand on her name.  We practiced a few times and she not only complied like a champ, but she loved it!  She would call one of our names, run to her piece of tape, stand on it and clap saying "yaaaayyyyy!"  Then she would want each of us to do it too.  

Despite the major inconvenience of not having A/C in Texas, God gave us many teachable moments throughout the process.  We got to talk abut and reflect on how blessed we are to live in this amazing country where we have so much more than we need.  We talked about how so many people in other countries don't have nearly the same comforts as we do and yet they have so much gratitude for what they do have.  In one of our efforts to stay out of our HOT house, the kids, my mom, and I went out to eat.  While we were there, I have no earthly idea how it even came up, but we ended up having an amazing 40 minute discussion about God's design for dating, marriage, and sex (all topics that we have discussed plenty of times, but they were especially engaged this time)...  yep, I said it, my 6 and 8 year old know about sex (don't worry, they know full well that they aren't suppose to talk to other kids about it :-) thanks to an amazing, VERY age appropriate curriculum called "God's Design for Sex."  We have only been through the first two books of the series so far.  Despite my best efforts to make sure that the kids used quiet voices, I can't help but wonder if a family a few tables down heard some of our conversation (the parents that is, they had a baby and toddler) and thought that I was a crazy parent, but I just couldn't miss one of those valuable "shoot the gap moments." I didn't make up the term, I heard it in a parenting training and it stuck with me :-)

What is Shooting the Gap?
A term that describes the attempt of a defensive linemen or linebacker to gain leverage and pass rush through the space or "gap" in the offensive line. 

You know those moments when your kiddos, out of nowhere, will ask a very deep/loaded question, full of teachable moments and you don't know when and if you will have their undivided attention about the very important subject again.  So, you answer their question and all those that come after until the "gap" slams closed and they go back to their silly business.  I wish I could tell you details about our conversation because you would both die laughing and be encouraged that kids can totally grasp and handle an age appropriate discussion about these important topics (it's WAY more awkward for the parents than the kids, I promise :-). It is important to us that the kids hear about these topics from a biblical perspective before they hear about it anywhere else and that it's an ongoing, evolving conversation as they get more mature.  


Now that you probably think we are the craziest parents in the world... we hope that you have a blessed week!  

Grace just wanted you to know that she's thinking about you and pondering what an amazing Village you are!  (((hugs)))

3 comments:

Julie Wigle said...

Oh my goodness, that room is gorgeous! What a fun filled post of your activities….I'm just wishing I was at that soccer game! I can only imagine! :)

PS I'm going to need those books on sex for my kiddies! Sounds super, and we are dancing around that subject a bit!

Mary Ross said...

Wonder if Branson has indoor soccer fields. Wait!!!!! What am I saying? This Safety Grandma would go crazy with that many competitive people on one field! What was I thinking?

Tommy Hopkins said...

It looks like your year has been great so far! There’s certainly a lot to celebrate about, especially with those three wonder kids of yours. It’s too bad about the AC being out for more than a day, but at least the repair guy was able to fix it soon after. Good day!

Tommy Hopkins @ AccuTemp