Sunday, August 16, 2015

One blessed week


-Grace's ARD meeting at our local Elementary School went GREAT!  Thank you for praying!  We were so encouraged to hear that Grace got an 88 out of 115 for speech (which is within the range of "normal") and at this point she doesn't qualify as having an intellectual disability (this will likely change as she gets older because I believe that the older they get the greater separation between their "typical" peers intellectually; however, God isn't a God of statistics, so He can do whatever He wants), so that does not qualify her for PPCD (preschool for special needs children), nevertheless her heart condition does qualify her.  At this point, we are not going to take the PPCD option because we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Rise School and second to God attribute much of her development for the way that they purposefully pour into her day in and day out (and having the worlds best teachers/ big brother and sister at home sure helps too :-).  However, it is a blessing to know that it is a great option in the event that God calls us to do something different.  At this point, Grace will receive speech therapy twice a week (with the focus being her articulation) at Campbell Elementary.  God sure did answer our prayers in that it was evident that we all had the same goal in mind, to help Grace be all that He created her to be.  Ok, so those are my words summing up our meeting not theirs, but each person at the meeting seemed to have Grace's best interest in mind.  They also raved about how precious Grace is and how blown away they are by her development.  To God be the glory because she certainly had the odds stacked against her, having been on bypass 6 times and sedated for much of her young life, etc!

-THE MOST EXCITING NEWS OF ALL...  Andrew got baptized today!  To learn more about Andrew's journey to baptism please watch the video and excuse the shaky hands holding the camera, it was a momma overwhelmed with gratitude, trying to hold it together :-).  Also, the reason that you hear people laughing when he gets into the "trough/baptismal" is because he was so small (you could hardly see the top of his head peaking out of the top) compared to the bigger kids that went before him. The presence of family and friends made this special day even more precious!

Abigail and Andrew's name and date of their baptism next to each other on the baptism trough...

Our families (minus the Harrison Family)...

COUSINS (minus Joe)!!!

The three amigos...

Andrew got a new bible with his name engraved on it, an Amor of God statue and accompanying devotional, new movie, and Action Bible...

-David starts a new job this coming Thursday!  As many of you know, since David finished school in May we have been praying about what God has for him and how that fits in to the needs of our family.  We asked God to make His will super clear because it was hard to picture what type of job could accommodate our desire not to have to put the kids in day care after school or during Summer (disclaimer: day care is certainly not the end of the world and we in no way judge those that need to use day care as a great option, it's just something that we have really appreciated being able to avoid for the past 8 years) and that would allow for the flexibility of our sweet wild card (aka Gracie Doo).  We prayed that a job would fall into our lap and God delivered big time on that prayer.  On Thursday David starts a job at The Tenney School in Houston.  It is a private school with a pretty amazing set up in that it has a 1:1 ratio serving kids that need to be challenged more, "learn differently", etc, and it doesn't hurt that the owners of the school are friends from Family Camp whom we adore.  David will be a homeroom teacher, possibly teach an elective, and share some administration related responsibilities. We found out about the job last Saturday, he had an interview on Tuesday, and accepted the job on Friday.  David is very excited about how God is going to use him in this unique learning environment and we have already begun praying for the students and families that he will serve and how God would have him mentor them.  In theory, David should be able to drop Grace off at school before work and be off in time to pick up Grace from school and get home in time to get the big kids off the bus.  Our biggest concern at this point is Grace's health and possible hospitalizations.  It has been a huge blessing that while David was in school he had the flexibility to stay with Grace in the hospital when needed, so if and when that need arises we pray and trust that God has those logistics figured out too.  Will you please cover us in prayer during this transition and specifically pray that Grace would just simply stay well and out of the hospital?

Random picture of David and our manly dog "Twinkie"...

-Our best friends, the Glass family, are moving to Knoxville, TN where Bryan will serve as the lead pastor at Berean Bible Church.  We have known for a while now that God had big plans for their ministry and that would probably mean a move, but it is more real than ever before as their departure date approaches.  Abigail and Ju Ju have been best friends since they were born and have the type of God honoring friendship that you can only dream about, so you can imagine how difficult this transition will be for them especially.  When Abigail prays for them at night she will often times break down in tears because she know how much she will miss Ju Ju, until next summer when we (Lord willing) plan to visit them.  However, it has been such a great glimpse into the heart of the Lord as we look back on how He has been preparing our hearts for such a time as this.  Abigail and I worked out with an exercise group in our neighborhood this week and it warmed my heart to hear her talk about how she's grateful that God has been looking out for her and Ju Ju by allowing Ju Ju to be homeschooled this past year (prior to that they were each other's everything at school) and called us to a new church a year ago, all things that meant they were forced to allow God to teach them how to make new friends in those areas and look forward to the weekly play dates that we scheduled. She recounted how much harder it would have been if they had to just leave and they got ripped apart after 3 years of Elementary School together, seeing each other every Sunday at church, vacationing and camping together, etc.  There is no question that we will miss every single member of the Glass family deeply because they are really like family to us, but we have been able to praise the Lord for the calling He has on their life and ours (we remind the kids often that while God is calling them to Knoxville, He has a calling on our lives too, here in Sugar Land).  They haven't even left yet (not until the end of this month), but we are already counting down until next summer!  As a parent, it is heartbreaking to see your child's heart break over her best friend moving, but I'm learning an important lesson in parenting too...  as much as I just want to fix or take away her feelings, allowing her to grieve and grieving along with her while always pointing her to God's bigger plan and heart is the best thing that we can do for her because her sadness is an appropriate response to the genuine love that she has for Ju Ju.  Please pray that we will usher them well through this transition as it continues to unfold and of course for the Glass' as they embark on this new, amazing journey!

-Lu Lu (my mom) is in town from California this weekend, so we have been busy having fun...  a highlight was going to the 49er game with the kids (the big kids that is :-).  We love the 49ers, especially since Lu Lu has been a season ticket holder since the 70's and continues to fly up north (she lives in southern California) by herself to attend all of the home games with her single season ticket, that's commitment.  However, Andrew was the first to express his feelings that it's hard to root against the Texans because we like them too (especially JJ Watt).  Nevertheless, we had a great time!

Grace is off to school on Thursday!  Will you please pray for a smooth transition to her new room?


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